Kangaroo mother care is a comprehensive intervention given for all newborns especially for premature and low birthweight infants. It is the most feasible and preferred intervention for decreasing neonatal morbidity and mortality. Even though time to initiating breastfeeding has been examined by randomized controlled trials, varying findings have been reported. Therefore, the main objective of this meta-analysis was to estimate the pooled mean time to initiate breastfeeding among preterm and low birthweight infants.
The authors searched for randomized controlled trial studies conducted on the effects of kangaroo mother care on the time to breastfeeding initiation among preterm and low birthweight infants. Published articles were identified through a computerized search of electronic databases that includes MEDLINE via PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL and CENTRAL. The search terms were kangaroo mother care or (skin to skin), or conventional care, newborns, preterm infants, low birthweight infants and randomized controlled trial. A total of 467 eligible titles were identified and eight studies met the inclusion criteria. The extracted data were entered and analyzed using Cochrane Review Manager-5-3 software. Heterogeneity across studies was evaluated by Chi2 test and inconsistency index (I2). Publication bias was assessed using a funnel plot. The random effect model was applied to estimate the pooled mean time to initiate breastfeeding with 95% confidence interval.
In this meta-analysis, the overall pooled mean time to initiate breastfeeding was 2.6 days (95% CI 1.23, 3.96). Preterm and low birthweight infants receiving kangaroo mother care intervention initiated breastfeeding 2 days 14 h 24 min earlier than conventional care of radiant warmer/incubator method.
Kangaroo mother care promotes early initiation of breastfeeding as compared to conventional care method. Therefore, health facilities need to implement the kangaroo mother care for preterm and low birthweight infants.
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