The effect of kangaroo mother care on mental health of mothers with low birth weight infants


1 Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine and Child Growth and Development Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Psychology and Education of Children with Special Needs, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran


Background: The mothers of premature infants are at risk of psychological stress because of separation from their infants. One of the methods influencing the maternal mental health in the postpartum period is kangaroo mother care (KMC). This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of KMC of low birth weight infants on their maternal mental health.
Materials and Methods: The study was conducted in the Department of Pediatrics of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran. Premature infants were randomly allocated into two groups. The control group received standard caring in the incubator. In the experimental group, caring with three sessions of 60 min KMC daily for 1 week was practiced. Mental health scores of the mothers were evaluated by using the 28-item General Health Questionnaire. Statistical analysis was performed by the analysis of covariance using SPSS.
Results: The scores of 50 infant-mother pairs were analyzed totally (25 in KMC group and 25 in standard care group). Results of covariance analysis showed the positive effects of KMC on the rate of maternal mental health scores. There were statistically significant differences between the mean scores of the experimental group and control subjects in the posttest period (P < 0.001).
Conclusion: KMC for low birth weight infants is a safe way to improve maternal mental health. Therefore, it is suggested as a useful method that can be recommended for improving the mental health of mothers.


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