Journal of Pregnancy and Neonatal Medicine

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Kangaroo mother care: Mothers experiences post discharge from hospital

Background: Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC), a natural way of nursing newborns, where mothers use their own body temperature to keep their infants warm has proven to be as efficacious as incubator nursing for the care of low birth weight (LBW) infants and leads to their earlier discharge from hospital. Objective: To explore mother’s knowledge and experiences with KMC at home after discharge from hospital. Method: Mothers who had practiced KMC and whose LBW infants had been discharged from the Special Care Baby Unit of a tertiary health institution in Southern Nigeria, were recruited into the study during follow up visits. Data collected using a simple structured questionnaire included, weight of babies on discharge, knowledge and practice of KMC at home, family support, benefits and problems encountered. Data were analyzed using SPSS 16.0. Results: Forty-two mothers participated in the study. Mean weight of babies at discharge was 1.63 ± 0.85 kg. Mean duration of KMC/day at home was 3.25 ± 2.85 hours (0.5-12 hours). 16 (38.1%) of babies were still receiving KMC. For those that had stopped, mean weight at termination was 2.45 ± 0.95 kg. The commonest reason was that baby became uncomfortable. 31 (73.8%) of mothers didn’t know that somebody else could assist with KMC. Commonest support received was help with domestic chores. No baby had problems with KMC at home. Over 95% of the mothers enjoyed KMC at home. Some concerns were inability to do domestic chores, sleep comfortably at night or give attention to other children while doing KMC. Conclusion: Mothers are comfortable with KMC but need more information and support groups are advocated.

Author(s): Opara PI, Okorie EMC