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.