The Effect of Kangaroo Mother Care on Maternal Mental Health
A literature review
Postpartum depression (PPD) is a psychiatric disorder which affects around 7.5% of Canadian women (Pregnancy and Women’s Mental Health in Canada, 2014). A relatively novel intervention method used in neonatal care for preterm babies is called skin-to-skin contact (SSC) or Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC). This paper addresses the state of published literature related to the following question: to what extent does Kangaroo Mother Care impact maternal mental health, specifically anxiety and postpartum depression and what is the role of oxytocin in this relationship? The research on KMC and SSC is generally in consensus about the positive effects it has on parents and the infant, and specifically, the impact it has on postpartum depression. The exact mechanism of why SSC has produced positive effects in parental mental health is not clear, but some studies identify that it may have to do with the role of oxytocin in the nervous system.