Kangaroo Mother Care: A review of mothers׳'experiences at Bwaila hospital and Zomba Central hospital (Malawi)

Midwifery. 2015 Feb;31(2):305-15. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2014.04.008. Epub 2014 May 2.


Background: Kangaroo Mother Care is an intervention that can help reduce neonatal mortality rate in Malawi but it has not been rolled out to all health facilities. Understanding the mothers׳ experience would help strategise when scaling-up this intervention.

Objective: to review experiences of mothers Kangaroo Mother Care at two hospitals of Bwaila and Zomba.

Design: quantitative, descriptive using open interviews.

Setting: two central hospitals in Malawi.

Participants: 113 mothers that were in the Kangaroo Mother Care unit and those that had come for follow-up two weeks after discharge before the study took place.

Findings: mothers had high level of knowledge about the significant benefits of Kangaroo Mother Care but 84% were not aware of the services prior to their hospitalisation. 18.6% (n=19) were not counselled prior to KMC practice. Mothers preferred KMC to incubator care. There were factors affecting compliance and continuation of KMC, which were lack of support, culture, lack of assistance with skin-to-skin contact, multiple roles of the mother and stigma.

Key conclusions: mothers had a positive attitude towards KMC once fully aware of its benefits.

Implications for practice: there is need for awareness campaigns on KMC services, provision of counselling, support and assistance which can help motivate mothers and their families to comply with the guidelines of KMC services.

Keywords: Kangaroo Mother Care; Low-birthweight infant; Preterm infant and mother.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Hospitals / standards*
  • Hospitals / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality / trends*
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Kangaroo-Mother Care Method
  • Malawi
  • Middle Aged
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires