Kangaroo position: Immediate effects on the physiological variables of preterm and low birth weight newborns

Posição Canguru: efeitos imediatos nas variáveis fisiológicas do recém-nascido pré-termo e baixo peso

Érica Cesário Defilipo Paula Silva de Carvalho Chagas Caroline Chaves Lessa Nogueira Geisiane Pereira Ananias Andrea Januário da Silva About the authors



The Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) method is a significant neonatal alternative that ensures better quality humanized care for preterm and low birth weight newborns.


To analyze the immediate physiological effects of the kangaroo position in critically ill newborns.


Open clinical trial with parallel interventions, involving preterm (up to 28 days old) low or very low birth weight newborns (minimum weight of 1,250 grams) of both sexes, that were clinically stable and undergoing enteral nutrition. The degree of respiratory distress was assessed and quantified using the Silverman-Anderson scoring system. Heart rate and peripheral oxygen saturation were collected using a pulse oximeter. Respiratory rate was determined by auscultation for one minute. The newborns were submitted to the kangaroo position once only, for 90 minutes.


Participants were 30 newborns, 56.7% of which were girls. Comparison of the variables before and after application of the kangaroo position using the Wilcoxon test showed a statistically significant reduction in respiratory rate (p = 0.02) and Silverman-Anderson score (p < 0.01). The remaining variables showed no significant differences: heart rate (p = 0.21), peripheral oxygen saturation (p = 0.26) and axillary temperature (p = 0.12).


There was a decline in the respiratory rate and Silverman-Anderson score after application of the kangaroo position, while peripheral oxygen saturation, axillary temperature and heart rate remained stable.

Kangaroo Mother Care; Premature; Low Birth Weight Newborn; Vital Signs; Neonatal Intensive Care Units

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