NICU Awareness Month: Why Hugs Are So Important

Posted on in Ambassador/ Babies/ Sponsored

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Huggies Canada. I am a Huggies #NoBabyUnhugged Mom. As always, opinions are all mine.

Back when Mia was born on April 1st all I wanted to do was hug her. When they did that first blood sugar test 2 hours after birth and it came back at 1.1, then 1.3 then 1.6 within 1 minute of each other my heart sank. The blood sugar of a newborn baby here in Ontario has to be over 2.3 in most hospitals and as soon as I heard them say out loud what her sugars were, I knew she would be taken from me.

I tried desperately begging them to let me keep her. “You won’t even let me try to nurse her more and get it up? I need more hug time!” They wouldn’t have it and ended up needing to have a nurse and NICU doctor come to speak to me. I ended up having to let her go but I got to go with her. They allowed me to be wheeled down holding her and hugging her tightly. During NICU stays most babies don’t have their parents there. It was a sad but true reality I saw while there. I held Mia so tight, the whole time only leaving her side for a total of 2 hours the whole 30+ hours she was there.

Kyla, my oldest daughter, was with me and when I had to go to the bathroom she would hold Mia. During this critical stage hugs are so important and not being able to be in a room by ourselves or at home was heartbreaking for me. I wanted to do skin-to-skin and have her close to me the whole time, but in a wide open NICU room with 10 other babies, it was difficult for me. We still did it, and I kept her close the whole time – but it was difficult. Emotionally and physically as I deprived myself of rest and recovery to be at her side.After a full day and a half in the NICU when we were able to go home and were told we’d have to go back daily to test her bilirubin levels the one thing my husband told me was, “Keep her close to you, nurse her as much as you can and I’ll step aside.” At first I thought he maybe just didn’t want to bond with her? Maybe he didn’t feel as close to her because he wasn’t in the delivery room or with me at the hospital during it all to have his special time like the others? But in reality, he was helping both her and I. During that first week home and back and forth trips to the hospital for bilirubin blood draws and the hour wait to get the results her and I got to spend that time cuddling, bonding, and hugging. Because of this time, her bilirubin levels did what they were supposed to do and level off. I firmly believe that time was needed after all the NICU craziness, and it was exactly what she needed to feel better.

I went into the hospital on Sunday, April 1st to be induced with my hug plan in hand and was left for two hours after birth with Mia to bond, nurse and have our skin-to-skin time. It just wasn’t enough, and some babies need more. Had we had that opportunity from the get-go and not had her pulled away at 2 hours old I firmly believe she wouldn’t have had to go anywhere at all. That is the power of hugs.

I have been a big supporter of the No Baby Unhugged initiative for a long time now. What is this you may ask? Well, Huggies provides funding to initiate and support volunteer hugging programs in Canadian hospitals. Specially-trained volunteers hug, rock, and even sing to newborns in the neonatal and pediatric intensive care units, often for several hours at a time.  With an estimated 500 babies being admitted to these units each year, many are positively impacted by the personal interaction and stimulation hugs can offer during a critical period in their treatment plan.

Huggies diapers and wipes have been a staple in our household for 15 years. With initiatives like #NoBabyUnhugged and products such as Huggies Little Snugglers and Huggies Natural Care wipes, it’s easy to love and respect a company like Huggies and want to join in and help in any way you can. I am a proud Huggies #NoBabyUnhugged mom and can’t wait to share more with you throughout this year.

To learn how you can pledge your support for the No Baby Unhugged initiative, visit nobabyunhugged.ca. When you sign up to pledge your support, Huggies brand will donate $5 to the No Baby Unhugged initiative and in return, you’ll receive a free pack of Huggies Little Snuggles diapers and Natural Care Wipes!

16 Comments

  • Reply Melissa Chapman October 16, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    I love this initiative it is so important for all babies to have close contact at all times. I hope this is in place in the hospitals and NICUs by us.

  • Reply Tomi C October 16, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    I just signed up and made my donation. We used Huggies with our babies and my mom used Huggies with me so we’re a couple generations of Huggies babies. Great product and awesome cause.

  • Reply Glenda Cates October 16, 2018 at 4:11 pm

    I am so sorry you and your baby had to go through that but thank God she is better. As for what Huggies does that is wonderful and I will have to see if they offer it in my State to share with other parents.

  • Reply Candy October 16, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    Nice you found a diaper that works well for your new precious baby. Pray she continues to grow and be healthy

  • Reply Pam October 16, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    I think this is such a wonderful program. Babies need to be hugged as much as they can when they are born. And Mia is such a cutie. Of course, all your children are. :)

  • Reply Dennis Littley October 16, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    Thanks for sharing some of baby Mia’s story. Sounds like it was difficult. This No Baby Unhugged campaign sounds like such a good cause.

  • Reply Terri Steffes October 16, 2018 at 10:14 pm

    I hope your baby is doing well now. I love this program and plan to see if there is one nearby that I could help with.

  • Reply Tasheena October 16, 2018 at 11:34 pm

    Your story is so inspiring. Thanks for sharing! I know it’s going to help and educate other moms.

  • Reply Lisa Martin October 17, 2018 at 12:14 am

    Hugs are such a wonderful thing. This is such a wonderful cause.

  • Reply Nancy at Whispered Inspirations October 17, 2018 at 8:51 am

    How can I sign up to be a No Baby Unhugged cuddler? I would love to do that! I hope they come out with the program in my city, I’d so do it.

  • Reply Heather October 17, 2018 at 9:14 am

    Oh man that has to be so hard. My babies were taken only for brief moments. I think they need to arrange more NICUs to allow this. I really think babies can come back and thrive with that touch and possibly get out of the NICU faster.

  • Reply Estelle October 17, 2018 at 9:41 am

    I love the concept of this initiative. It must have been so frustrating for you to not hug your baby right away. I agree that hugs can be such an important part of the treatment plan for babies in the NICU.

  • Reply Heather October 17, 2018 at 9:44 am

    I was separated from my oldest for hours after I delivered. I didn’t even see her, except in a picture. I would have loved to have that hug/bond time with her.

  • Reply Kathy October 17, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    I love this. My oldest daughter was in the NICU for a while too. She had surgery at just a few days old. Honestly one of the scariest days of my life. I’m glad there is an awareness for this.

  • Reply Vyjay Rao October 17, 2018 at 10:30 pm

    I think hugs and physical proximity to the mother is so important for babies. This is natures way of getting the baby to acclimatize with the world that it has come into. This is something that should not be tampered with by modern medical practices as far as possible.

  • Reply Dhemz October 17, 2018 at 10:59 pm

    Both my girls stayed in the NICU right after birth. I know the scary and guilt feeling. Good thing all is well now. Such a great awareness, and I’ve been using Huggies for awhile now. Thanks for sharing!

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Back to top