Kangaroo Holding and Maternal Stress

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00271115
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : December 30, 2005
Last Update Posted : February 17, 2012
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Christiana Care Health Services

December 21, 2005
December 30, 2005
February 17, 2012
September 2005
October 2007   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Change in perceived maternal stress after kangaroo holding. [ Time Frame: 1 week ]
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Complete list of historical versions of study NCT00271115 on Archive Site
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Kangaroo Holding and Maternal Stress
The Effect of Kangaroo Holding on Maternal Stress Levels

The primary objective is to determine if kangaroo holding in the first week after birth influences the stress levels of mothers who have delivered their infants prematurely and who require admission to the Special Care Nursery (SCN).

Hypothesis: There will be a decrease in maternal stress levels as perceived by mothers and as reflected in their blood pressures and heart rates after kangaroo holding their premature infants in the SCN.

This study builds on known observations by previous researchers that the birth and hospitalization of premature infants creates stressful events in the lives of parents (Shields-Poe & Pinelli, 1997). The challenge for health care workers is to provide for the physical and psychological needs of infants within a highly technological setting such as the SCN. It is necessary to facilitate effective bonding between parents and infants. Effective bonding is linked with successful parenting role development. Stress can alter the development of a positive parental role.

Kangaroo holding, or skin-to-skin holding, involves placing a diaper clad infant vertical and prone between a mother's breasts (Affonso, 1993). As evidenced by the literature, stress can have an altering effect on the maternal attachment role psychologically and place physical demands on the cardiovascular system. Kangaroo care is one variable that may change the perception of maternal stress during preterm hospitalization by assisting mothers to gain control of the parental role, permitting maternal bonding and reducing maternal separation as well as potentially decreasing the allostatic load as associated with physiologic stress.

This study will compare maternal perceived stress levels before and after kangaroo holding during the first week of life. Mothers who are enrolled in this study will be asked to Kangaroo hold their infants at least two times during the first week of life. The first kangaroo hold will take place with the first 48 hours of life. The second kangaroo hold will take place between day of life five and seven. Mothers may kangaroo hold their infants more than two times, however this study will only examine the kangaroo holding sessions that take place at the two times specified above. This study includes both physiologic and psychologic measurements. Mothers will have their blood pressure and heart rate measured before and after each of the two kangaroo holding sessions. These mothers will also be asked to complete a self-report stress inventory scale prior to the first kangaroo holding session (first 48 hours of infant's life) and again after the second kangaroo holding session (infant's day of life five to seven).

Not Applicable
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
  • Premature Birth
  • Maternal Stress
Behavioral: Kangaroo Holding
Mothers will be asked to Kangaroo hold their infants two times during the first week of life.
Moms w/preterm infants
Mothers of preterm infants who are admitted to the newborn intensive care unit.
Intervention: Behavioral: Kangaroo Holding

*   Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by Identifier (NCT Number) in Medline.
Same as current
January 2008
October 2007   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)

Inclusion Criteria:


  • Delivered a premature infant between 30 0/7 and 33 6/7 weeks gestation
  • 20 to 40 years old
  • English speaking


  • Admitted to Special Care Nursery and on a monitor
  • Medically stable enough to be held (determined by health care team)

Exclusion Criteria:


  • Multiple birth
  • Eclampsia
  • Pre-existing hypertension or at risk (BP above 140/90)
  • Pre-existing cardiac disease
  • HELLP syndrome, or uncontrolled medical condition during pregnancy
  • Use of magnesium sulfate for blood pressure control prior to delivery
  • Known depression or treatment with antidepressants


  • Congenital anomalies
  • Use of NCPAP or mechanical ventilation
  • medically unstable (as determined by health care team)
Sexes Eligible for Study: Female
20 Years to 40 Years   (Adult)
Contact information is only displayed when the study is recruiting subjects
United States
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Christiana Care Health Services
Christiana Care Health Services
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Principal Investigator: Karen A. Hall, BSN, RNC Christiana Care Health Systems
Christiana Care Health Services
February 2012

ICMJE     Data element required by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the World Health Organization ICTRP