Kangaroo mother care in COVID-19 pandemic, accepting the new normal

Sidharth Nayyar, Sandeep Kadam, Rakesh Kumawat, R. Anusha


Background: Kangaroo mother care is an evidence-based, low cost and high impact approach that has shown significant reduction in preterm mortality. Practising KMC in COVID 19 era, is a challenge for mothers and the NICU’s. Aim of the study was to assess the effect of this pandemic on the practice of KMC in our NICU and opine about the possible barriers.

Methods: It was a retrospective observational cohort study. Data was collected from the NICU records. Neonates fulfilling the inclusion criteria were classified as pre COVID-19 epoch (January 2020 to March 2020) and post COVID-19 epoch (April 2020 to June 2020). KMC hours provided were compared between the two groups.

Results: Forty-six neonates were included in epoch 1 and Forty-two in epoch 2. Outcomes were analysed between the groups for primary measures, cumulative KMC hours reduced significantly in after COVID-19 period compared to the other group (median of 2 hours v/s 17 hours respectively), p value<0.001. Similarly, time to introduce first feeds increased from 6 hours in epoch 1 to 12 hours in epoch 2, p value=0.004.

Conclusions: COVID-19 pandemic has affected the duration of KMC inside the NICU. Lack of clear guidelines/training about continuing KMC in COVID times has further lead to decrease in KMC duration as reported in the present study. Training and awareness regarding the benefits of KMC which outweigh its possible risks and proper sanitization and hand hygiene for both healthcare providers and KMC providers need to be enforced to continue this good practice in the NICU’s and the community.


Preterm, Kangaroo mother care, COVID-19 pandemic, Barriers to KMC

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