Maternal experience of intermittent kangaroo mother care for late preterm infants: a mixed-methods study in four postnatal wards in China

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To describe how mothers of late preterm infants experienced provision of intermittent kangaroo mother care (KMC) on four postnatal wards in different hospitals in China under a pilot KMC project.


We used a concurrent mixed-methods approach incorporating quantitative and qualitative data. We collected quantitative data covering delivery and maternal experience of and attitude to KMC from 752 mothers who provided KMC to their late preterm newborns on the postnatal wards of four hospitals in different provinces of China.  We gathered data from hospital records and maternal questionnaires. Qualitative data was collected from ten semi-structured interviews with nurses, obstetricians, and mothers from two of the participating postnatal wards. We used descriptive analysis for quantitative data and general inductive analysis for qualitative data.


Most mothers had not heard of KMC before being introduced to it on the postnatal ward. On average, mothers and newborns stayed on postnatal wards for 3.6 days: during their stay mothers provided an average of 3.5 KMC sessions, an average of 1.1 sessions a day.  Each KMC session lasted an average of 68 minutes though there was much variation in length. Common reasons given for discontinuing a KMC session included restroom use, infant crying, and perceived time limitations.  Some mothers would have preferred to provide KMC for longer periods of time and nurses encouraged this. Most mothers experienced no difficulty providing KMC, received support from family and medical staff and intended to continue KMC post discharge.

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