Birth-Related Fatigue in 34–36-Week Preterm Neonates: Rapid Recovery With Very Early Kangaroo (Skin-to-Skin) Care

Authors

  • Susan M. Ludington-Hoe CNM, PhD, FAAN,

    Corresponding author
    1. Susan M. Ludington-Hoe is a Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, MD.
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  • Gene Cranston Anderson RN, PhD, FAAN,

    1. Gene Cranston Anderson is the Edward J. & Louise Mellen Professor in the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH.
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  • Sharleen Simpson RN, PhD,

    1. Sharleen Simpson is an Assistant Professor of Maternal-Newborn Nursing at the University of Florida College of Nursing in Gainesville, FL.
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  • Annie Hollingsead MN,

    1. Annie Hollingsead is a Quality Service Manager at Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield, CA.
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  • Luz Angela Argote RN,

    1. Luz Angela Argote is an Assistant Professor of Maternal Child Nursing in the School of Nursing at Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia.
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  • Humberto Rey MD

    1. Humberto Rey is the Vice Chancellor of Research at Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia.
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Address for correspondence: Susan M. Ludington-Hoe, CNM, PhD, FAAN, Maternal Child Health, University of Maryland School of Nursing, 655 West Lombard Street, Baltimore, MD, 21201-1545.

Abstract

Objective: To test preterm neonates’physiologic and behavioral responses when placed skin-to-skin on their mother's chests, called kangaroo care (KC), for the first 6 hours after birth, instead of having the neonates go to an intensive care unit.

Design: Convenience sampling was used in this descriptive study to enroll neonates who were given continuous KC beginning soon after birth in the delivery room and continuing for 6 hours. Heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, abdominal temperature, and behavioral state were recorded each minute.

Setting: Data were collected in the delivery room and in a private labor room in tropical Cali, Colombia.

Participants: Six 34-36-week preterm neonates with 5-minute APGAR scores of 6 or more were enrolled. Two neonates had grunting respirations before KC was begun.

Results: Temperature rose rapidly to ther-moneutral range. With few exceptions, heart rate, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation remained within normal limits; grunting respirations in two neonates disappeared with warmed humidified oxygen and continuous KC. Sleep predominated, and neonates were discharged home by 48 hours being fully breastfed, suggesting that KC was an environment conducive to recovery from fatigue.

Conclusions: These data suggest that KC beginning in the delivery room can be given safely and perhaps with benefit to 34-36-week gestation neonates who appear healthy at birth. Kangaroo care was conducive to recovery from birth-related fatigue.

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