Effect of Kangaroo mother care on physiological parameters in low birth weight neonates

Ankit Ranjan, Sushma Malik


Background: Low birth weight (LBW) babies require special care as they suffer from several handicaps, including maintenance of temperature, feeding, adequate weight gain and optimum neurobehavioral adaptation to the external environment. Kangaroo mother care (KMC) is an important modality that helps in the easy transition of the newborn infant to the outside world and overcomes the above problems. This study was planned to assess the effect of KMC on physiological parameters of low birth weight neonates, in a tertiary care hospital.

Methods: This was a single-centered prospective observational quasi-experimental study conducted over a period of 18 months on 70 eligible LBW neonates. The arterial oxygen saturation, blood pressure (systolic, diastolic and mean), heart rate and respiratory rate of the neonates were noted. The readings at 1 hour and 2 hours after KMC were compared with that of the reading at 10 minutes prior to initiating KMC to assess the changes in the mentioned physiological parameters.

Results: Analysis suggested statistically significant improvement in the arterial oxygen saturation and stabilization of the systolic, diastolic and mean blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate with institution of KMC. There was better improvement in the physiological parameters on increasing the duration of KMC from one hour to two hours and these changes were statistically significant.

Conclusions: LBW neonates receiving KMC showed significant improvement in oxygen saturation and blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate.


Arterial oxygen saturation, Blood pressure, Heart rate, Kangaroo mother care, Low birth weight, Respiratory rate

Full Text:



Sabatini MJ, Ebert P, Lewis DA, Levitt P, Cameron JL, Mirnics K. Amygdala gene expression correlates of social behavior in monkeys experiencing maternal separation. J Neurosci. 2007;27(12):3295-304.

Moore ER, Bergman N, Anderson GC, Medley N. Early skin-to-skin contact for mothers and their healthy newborn infants. In: Moore ER, editor. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Chichester, UK: John Wiley and Sons, Ltd; 2016.

Seidman G, Unnikrishnan S, Kenny E, Myslinski S, Cairns-Smith S, Mulligan B, et al. Barriers and Enablers of Kangaroo Mother Care Practice: A Systematic Review. PLoS One. 2015;10(5):e0125643.

Nimbalkar A, Patel D, Sethi A, Nimbalkar S. Effect of skin to skin care to neonates on pulse rate, respiratory rate SPO2 and blood pressure in mothers. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2014;58(2):174-7.

Jain PK, Sarkar D. Physiological effects of kangarooing on the newborns weighing less than 2000 grams. Int J Basic Appl Physiol. 2016;4(1):113-7.

Ali SM, Sharma J, Sharma R, Alam S. Kangaroo mother care as compared to conventional care for low birth weight babies. Dicle Med J. 2009;36(3):155-60.

Bera A, Ghosh J, Singh AK, Hazra A, Som T, Munian D. Effect of kangaroo mother care on vital physiological parameters of the low birth weight newborn. Indian J Community Med. 2014;39(4):245-9.

Chandralekha E, Nandhini P, Ruthrani Princely J, Kanchana S, Celina D. Effectiveness of Kangaroo mother care on level of physiological parameters among preterm infants at selected hospitals, Nagercoil. ICCRJNR. 2017;2(1):66-73.

Mori R, Khanna R, Pledge D, Nakayama T. Meta-analysis of physiological effects of skin-to-skin contact for newborns and mothers. Pediatr Int. 2010;52(2):161-70.

Almeida C, Almeida A, Forti E. Effects of Kangaroo mother care on the vital signs of low-weight preterm newborns. Rev Bras Fisioter. 2009;11(1):1-5.

de Oliveira Azevedo VMG, Xavier CC, de Oliveira Gontijo F. Safety of Kangaroo mother care in intubated neonates under 1500 g. J Trop Pediatr. 2012;58(1):38-42.

Phirke DS, Bantewad S. Evaluation of Kangaroo mother care in low birth weight babies. JMSCR. 2017;5(9):27365-70.

Boundy EO, Dastjerdi R, Spiegelman D, Fawzi WW, Missmer SA, Lieberman E, et al. Kangaroo mother care and neonatal outcomes: a meta-analysis. Pediatrics. 2016;137(1):e20152238.

Nasiriani K, Dehghani K, Movahed Z, Dehghani H. A randomized controlled trial of kangaroo mother care versus conventional method on vital signs and arterial oxygen saturation rate in newborns who were hospitalized in neonatal intensive care unit. J Clin Neonatol. 2015;4(1):26.

Gunjana K, Deveshwar D, Palak G, Gupta ML. Comparison of effect of Kangaroo mother care on vital parameters in different weight groups of low birth weight newborns. Sch J Appl Med Sci. 2017;5(11E):4682-6.

Parmar VR, Kumar A, Kaur R, Parmar S, Kaur D, Basu S, et al. Experience with Kangaroo mother care in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in Chandigarh, India. Indian J Pediatr. 2009;76(1):25-8.

Verma P, Verma V. Effect of Kangaroo mother care on heart rate, respiratory rate and temperature in low birth weight babies. Int J Med Res Review. 2014;2(2):81-6.

Quirion R. Pain, nociception and spinal opioid receptors. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 1984;8(4-6):571-9.

Gazzolo D, Masetti P, Meli M. Kangaroo care improves post-extubation cardiorespiratory parameters in infants after open heart surgery. Acta Paediatr. 2000;89(6):728-9.

Sutar R, Baraha S, Mummidi PS. Effects of Kangaroo mother care on common vital parameters of preterm infants mummidi medical science. Int J Sci Res. 2015;4(12):373-5.