Table 3

Early vs late-initiated KMC – characteristics of included studies

S. noAuthor, YearInclusion criteriaExclusion criteriaIntervention:
early KMC as planned/ as achieved
late KMC as planned/as achieved
1WHO iKMC 2021All infants with birth weight of 1.0 to 1.799 kg, regardless of gestation, type of delivery, or singleton or twin status (irrespective of clinical stability).Infants who were unable to breathe spontaneously by 1 hour or who had
a major congenital malformation
Immediately after birth;
Median initiation time of 1.3 hours after birth
KMC began after the neonate recovered from preterm birth complications and was at least 24 hours old;
Median initiation time 53.6 hours after birth
2Brotherton 2021Birth weight <2000 g and age 1–24 hoursStable and severely unstable neonates were excluded. Triplets, major congenital malformations, severe jaundice, seizures, and lack of study bed were the other exclusion criteriaKMC initiated <24 hours after admission;
Median initiation time 13.6 hours
KMC once stable at >24 hours after admission;
Median initiation time 104.5 hours
3Mörelius 201524 Vaginally born singleton preterm infants (32–35 weeks’ gestation)Infants with congenital malformations and severely unstable infantsContinuous skin-to-skin contact, beginning in the delivery room;
Median initiation time not provided
KMC began in the NICU;
On day 2, both groups were practicing KMC
4Nagai 201025 Birth weight <2500 g, age <24 hours, no serious malformations, and relatively stable clinical conditionApnea and intravenous infusionKMC begun soon as possible, within 24 hours post-birth;
Median initiation time 19 hours (IQR 13.00–23.00)
KMC began after complete stabilisation (generally after 24 hours post-birth)
Median initiation time 28.5 hours (IQR 25–40)
  • KMC, Kangaroo mother care; NICU, neonatal intensive care unit.