Awareness and Experience of Kangaroo Mother Care for full term newborns: An interventional study at a rural maternity hospital in south Karnataka
Background: Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) is early, continuous and prolonged skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby, with exclusive breastfeeding. Besides preterm and low birth weight babies, even full-term healthy newborns benefit from KMC. Objective: to assess awareness and experience of KMC for full-term newborns among newly delivered mothers in a rural maternity hospital. Methods: Interventional study with interview schedule to capture awareness of KMC (25 scored items). After one hour of practicing KMC, post-intervention assessment of KMC experience (23 scored items) was done. Bivariate analysis performed to associate awareness and experience of KMC with socio-demographic and obstetric variables. Results: The 100 mothers in our study had low median KMC awareness score of 4(IQR=2,8) and were unaware of benefits of KMC. Median KMC experience score was 21(IQR=19,22), indicating highly positive experience. Mothers reported feeling happy or relaxed, found it easier to breastfeed, easy to practice KMC, and wanted to continue KMC at home. Mothers with caesarean section were more likely to experience abdominal or back pain during KMC (P=0.037) and mothers with previous abortion/stillbirth were more likely to have fear of suffocating the baby during KMC (P=0.005). Conclusion: Though awareness of KMC was found to be low, overall experience of KMC was very positive. Mothers should be educated about benefits of KMC and given an opportunity to practice KMC in hospital. Full-term healthy newborns and their mothers should not be denied the numerous advantages of KMC. There is need to create KMC-friendly hospital culture and promote KMC for all newborns.
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