Aim: To study the effect of Kangaroo mother care in the Kangaroo ward in comparison with conventional care at neonatal unit on growth and breastfeeding in very low birth weight infants at 40 weeks’ corrected gestational age.
Methods: One hundred and forty neonates with birth weight <1500 g were randomized. The primary outcome was the average weight gain (g/kg/day) from the time of randomization to term gestational age.
Results: Mean birth weight, age in days and weight at randomization were similar in both the groups. At term gestational age, average weight gain (g/kg/day) post randomization (23.3 ± 8.7 g vs. 22.64 ± 9.1 g, p = 0.67) and breastfeeding rate (85.9% vs. 87.0%) were comparable. There was no difference in weight gain (g/kg/day) from randomization to hospital discharge between the Kangaroo care group and conventional care group (18.01 g vs. 15.64 g, p = 0.12). Mortality, morbidities like sepsis, hypothermia, apnoea, hypoglycaemia and duration of hospitalization were equally distributed. On average, 11.5 days of intermediate care were saved in the kangaroo group.
Conclusion: Kangaroo mother care in the Kangaroo ward is as effective as conventional care in the neonatal unit without any increase in morbidity or mortality in stable VLBW infants.