Kangaroo mother care for low birth weight infants: a randomized controlled trial

Indian Pediatr. 2008 Jan;45(1):17-23.


Objective: To compare the effect of Kangaroo mother care (KMC) and conventional methods of care (CMC) on growth in LBW babies (> 2000 g).

Study design: Randomized controlled trial.

Setting: Level III NICU of a teaching institution in western India.

Subjects: 206 neonates with birth weight < 2000 g.

Intervention: The subjects were randomized into two groups: the intervention group (KMC-103) received Kangaroo mother care. The control group (CMC: 103) received conventional care.

Outcome measures: Growth, as measured by average daily weight gain and by other anthropometrical parameters at 40 weeks postmenstrual age in preterm babies and at 2500 g in term SGA infants was assessed.

Results: The KMC babies had better average weight gain per day (KMC: 23.99 g vs CMC: 15.58 g, P< 0.0001). The weekly increments in head circumference (KMC: 0.75 cm vs CMC: 0.49 cm, P = 0.02) and length (KMC: 0.99 cm vs CMC: 0.7 cm, P = 0.008) were higher in the KMC group. A significantly higher number of babies in the CMC group suffered from hypothermia, hypoglycemia, and sepsis. There was no effect on time to discharge. More KMC babies were exclusively breastfed at the end of the study (98% vs 76%). KMC was acceptable to most mothers and families at home.

Conclusion: Kangaroo mother care improves growth and reduces morbidities in low birth weight infants. It is simple, acceptable to mothers and can be continued at home.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding
  • Child Development
  • Comorbidity
  • Humans
  • Infant Care*
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Weight Gain