The Indian Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 68, Issue 11, pp 1019–1023 | Cite as

Kangaroo mother care in very low birth weight infants

  • K. Ramanathan
  • V. K. Paul
  • A. K. Deorari
  • U. Taneja
  • G. George
Original Article


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.

Key words

Kangaroo Mother Care Low birth weight infants Breast feeding 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Rey ES, Martinez EG. Manejo rational del Nino prematuro.Curso de Medicina Fetal, Bogotá, Columbia. Universidad National 1983; 137–151.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Acolet D, Sleath K, Whitelaw A. Oxygenation, heart rate and temperature in very low birth weight infants during skin-to-skin contact with their mothers.Acta Paediatr Scand 1989; 78: 189–193.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    de Leeuw R, Colin EM, Dunnebier EA, MirMiran M. Physiological effects of Kangaroo Care in very small preterm infants.Biol Neonate 1991; 59: 149–155.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gale G, Franck L, Lund C. Skin to skin kangaroo holding of the intubated premature infant.Neonatal Netw 1993; 12(6): 49–57.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Legault M, Goulet C. Comparison of Kangaroo and traditional methods of removing preterm infants from incubators.J Obst Gynecol Neonatal Nurs 1995; 24(6): 501–506.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ludington-Hoe SM, Hadeed AJ, Anderson GC. Physiologic responses to skin-to-skin contact in hospitalized premature infants.J Perinatol 1991; 11: 19–24.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Whitelaw A, Sleath K, Heisterkamp G, Acolet D, Richards M. Skin to skin contact for very low birth weight infants and their mothers: a randomized trial of “Kangaroo Care”.Arch Dis Child 1988; 63: 1377–1381.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Affonso D, Persson B, Wahlberg V. Exploration of mothers’ reaction to the kangaroo method of prematurity care.Neonatal Netw 1989; 7(6): 43–51.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Goel A, Vani SN. Kangaroo mother method for the care of the low birth weight infants-an Indian experience. Paper presented at the 18th Annual Convention of the National Neonatology Forum, Vellore. [Abstract book page 80]Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Charpak N, Ruiz-Pelaez JG, Figueroa de CZ, Charpak Y. Kangaroo mother versus traditional care for newborn infants < 2000 grams: A randomized controlled trial.Pediatrics 1997; 100(4): 682–688.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ludington SM. Energy Conservation during skin-to-skin contact between premature infants and their mothers.Heart Lung 1990; 19(5): 445–451.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Schmidt E. Care of the abnormal newborn: A randomized control study of the kangaroo method of care of low birth weight newborns. InWHO Interregional Conference on Appropriate Technology Following Birth. Trieste : World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Wahlberg V, Affonso D, Persson B. A retrospective comparative study using the kangaroo method as a complement to standard incubator care.Euro J Pub Health 1992; 2(1): 34–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Dr. K C Chaudhuri Foundation 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Ramanathan
    • 1
  • V. K. Paul
    • 1
  • A. K. Deorari
    • 1
  • U. Taneja
    • 1
  • G. George
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsAll India Institute of Medical SciencesNew DelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations