A study on breastfeeding initiation in low birth weight and very low birth weight babies and their developmental outcome with special reference to kangaroo mother care


  • Bramhini Sura Department of Paediatrics, Narayana Medical College and Hospital, Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, India
  • Gangadhar B. Belavadi Department of Paediatrics, Narayana Medical College and Hospital, Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, India




Developmental outcome, Exclusive breastfeeding, Head circumference, Kangaroo mother care, Low birth weight


Background: Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) was developed for caring of low birth weight (LBW) babies in developing countries. Study was done with the objective to evaluate the factors affecting initiation of breast feeding and effect of Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) on morbidity problems and developmental outcome in Low Birth Weight (LBW) and Very Low Birth Weight (VLBW) babies.

Methods: Prospective follow-up cohort study was carried out at Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Narayana medical college hospital Nellore from January 2018 to December 2019 and details of neonates were recorded on prestuctured proforma. Kangaroo mother care was given to one group. ASQ 3 questionnaire was used to assess the developmental outcome of the infants.

Results: In this study, 100 babies were divided into two groups, case group consists of 50 babies where KMC is given and another control group consists 50 babies where KMC is not given. Mean gestational age for case and control group babies were 34.5 and 33.7 weeks respectively. Mean Birth weight in cases (1700 gr) and control (1580) grams respectively. Number of Male babies were more in cases (51%) and Group B (53%). Main factors affecting the initiation of breastfeeding in babies are LSCS (62% and 48%), RDS (50% and 40%), Apnea (24% and 25%) and seizures (20% and 14%) respectively in case and controls. Rates of exclusive breastfeeding is significantly increased in cases (90%) when compared to control (72%). Morbidity in cases is comparatively lesser than controls. At 6 months of corrected gestational age, mean weight in cases (5.2 kg) is significantly more than mean weight in control (4.7 kg). Significant development is noticed in communication (p=0.036), gross motor (0.04), and fine motor (0.05) compare to controls. Percentage of babies who acquired better personal social skills are more in cases (80%).

Conclusions: The main factors affecting the initiation of breastfeeding in LBW and VLBW babies are LSCS, RDS, not secreted milk and seizures. KMC helps to achieve smooth and early transition to direct breastfeeding, increases the exclusively breastfeeding rate, better growth and developmental outcome and reduces the morbidities in LBW neonates.


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