Hugging programs train volunteers to administer the soothing and healing power of touch to premature babies.
‘The Huggies No Baby Unhugged program’ is awarding seven $10,000 grants to help support or establish volunteer hugging programs in hospitals across the country. Hugging programs train volunteers to administer the soothing and healing power of touch to babies who are premature or medically fragile, with the goal of improving long-term health out- comes.“The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) can be a place of uncertainty, and parents may often feel overwhelmed by responsibilities outside of the hospital that keep them from being with their baby 24/7,” says Kristin Carnall of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston. “Numerous studies show the positive benefits of holding, rocking and soothing on infant weight gain, stress reduction, improved sleep and future language development. We are incredibly grateful to have received the No Baby Unhugged grant to support our NICU families in providing a comfortable, encouraging, intentional space for parents to deliver skin-to-skin care to their infants.”
Since the No Baby Unhugged program was initiated in 2016, Huggies has awarded $250,000 in grants to 25 hospitals, allowing hospitals to invest in volunteer training and recruitment, hugger chairs and educational materials for volunteers.
“We understand the power of hugs and gentle human touch for conveying safety, security and love to babies during this critical time in their development,” says Sara Young, general manager of the Huggies Brand. “Volunteer hugging programs are integral to supporting nurses, comforting parents and promoting healing and growth for babies. Huggies continues to be inspired by these hospitals’ dedication to the infants they treat and remains committed to providing resources to bolster hugging programs.”