Introduction: Globally, babies born with low birth weight and preterm accounts for 25 million and 15 million respectively. The magnitude of preterm and low birth weight was 29.1% in Ethiopia by 2011. Around 70% neonatal deaths occur in low birth weight and preterm babies. Most studies demonstrated kangaroo mother care to be more effective than incubator care for these neonates but there are limited studies in Ethiopia. Therefore, the main aim of the study was to assess the acceptability, knowledge, attitude and practice of kangaroo mother care in public hospitals.
Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among postnatal mothers of preterm and low birth weight babies in Dilchora and Hiwot Fana Specialized hospital from October 1, 2015 to June 25, 2016. Data were collected by interviewing 349 mothers by a pretested questionnaire. It was entered in to Epi Data software version 3.1 and exported to SPSS version 20 for analysis.
Results: 69.91% of mothers mentioned the benefits of kangaroo mother care correctly. The majority of mothers 221 (63.33%) felt positive regarding implementation of Kangaroo Mother Care for it corrects the temperature, increase attachment and improve the growth of their small babies. On the other hand, 195 (55.87%) believed that Kangaroo Mother Care has positive effect on breast feeding. During the study period, 189 (54.15%) mothers practiced Kangaroo Mother Care in hospitals and also willing to continue at home. The mean duration of Kangaroo Mother Care was 2 h/day.
Conclusion: The majority of mothers felt positive regarding implementation of Kangaroo Mother Care. The study also revealed that more than half of the study participants practiced Kangaroo Mother Care in hospitals and also willing to continue at home. Therefore, it will be crucial if there are health education sessions during antenatal care follow-up for complete acceptance of Kangaroo Mother Care after delivery.