Effect of Kangaroo Mother Care on the breastfeeding, morbidity, and mortality of very low birth weight neonates: A prospective observational study
Objective: To compare the effect of Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) versus conventional mother care (CMC) on growth, morbidity, mortality, and length of hospitalization in very low birth weight (VLBW) neonates. Study Design: A hospital based prospective observational study conducted in the pediatric department of a tertiary care teaching hospital in Southern Odisha. Materials and Methods: A total of 100 VLBW neonates were included. The effect of KMC on growth, morbidity, breastfeeding, and length of hospitalization was studied. The KMC group (n=50) was subjected to KMC for at least 6 h/day. The neonates received kangaroo care during hospitalization and at home. The control group (n=50) received CMC. Results: The KMC babies had better average weight gain per day (15.9±4.5 vs. 10.6±4.5 g, p<0.0001). The weekly increments in head circumference (0.75 vs. 0.49 cm, p=0.001), length (0.99 vs. 0.7 cm, p=0.021), and chest circumference (0.73 vs. 0.45 cm, p=0.004) were higher in the KMC group. Significantly more neonates receiving CMC suffered from hypothermia (36% vs. 6%), apnea (16% vs. 2%), and other minor illnesses (44% vs. 16%) than those receiving KMC. There was earlier hospital discharge in KMC group (6 vs. 18 days). More neonates of KMC group were exclusively breastfed at the end of the study (86% vs. 42%). No mortality was noted in either group. Conclusions: KMC improves growth, reduces morbidities, improves breastfeeding rates, and reduces hospitalization in VLBW neonates.