Kangaroo Mother Care in very low birth weight infants

K Ramanathan, V K Paul, A K Deorari, U Taneja, G George
Indian Journal of Pediatrics 2001, 68 (11): 1019-23

OBJECTIVE: This study was conducted (i) to study through a randomized control trial the effect of Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) on breast feeding rates, weight gain and length of hospitalization of very low birth neonates and (ii) to assess the acceptability of Kangaroo Mother Care by nurses and mothers.

METHODS: Babies whose birth weight was less than 1500 Grams were included in the study once they were stable. The effect of Kangaroo Mother Care on breast feeding rates, weight gain and length of hospitalization of very low birth weight neonates was studied through a randomized control trial in 28 neonates. The Kangaroo group (n = 14) was subjected to Kangaroo Mother Care of at least 4 hours per day in not more than 3 sittings. The babies received Kangaroo Care after shifting out from NICU and at home. The control group (n = 14) received only standard care (incubator or open care system). Attitude of mothers and nurses towards KMC was assessed on Day 3 +/- 1 and on day 7 +/- 1 after starting Kangaroo Care in a questionnaire using Likert's scale.

RESULTS: The results of the clinical trial reveal that the neonates in the KMC group demonstrated better weight gain after the first week of life (15.9 +/- 4.5 gm/day vs. 10.6 +/- 4.5 gm/day in the KMC group and control group respectively p < 0.05) and earlier hospital discharge (27.2 +/- 7 vs. 34.6 +/- 7 days in KMC and control group respectively, p < 0.05). The number of mothers exclusively breastfeeding their babies at 6 week follow-up was double in the KMC group than in the control group (12/14 vs. 6/14) (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: KMC managed babies had better weight gain, earlier hospital discharge and, more impressively, higher exclusive breast-feeding rates. KMC is an excellent adjunct to the routine preterm care in a nursery.


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