Today is World Prematurity day, a day we share our stories and help spread awareness about Prematurity (babies born a little early) and the NICU. My earliest baby was born at 36 weeks and didn’t spend any time in the NICU. We were lucky, but a lot of others aren’t so lucky.
I did spend some time in the NICU with Hanna and Mia (for Gestational Diabetes related issues) so I was able to spend some time observing and speaking to NICU nurses myself. It was an eye-opening experience, to say the least, and I am grateful to each and every nurse that took the time to answer all my questions relating to my girls, and others I had about the NICU in general.
When I was in the NICU with Hanna and Mia we met plenty of parents that were in the NICU for the long haul. Babies would be there for weeks and some months, and their parents had to work, take care of older kids and just couldn’t be there full-time like I know they wanted to.
Markham Stouffville Hospital has officially launched the latest No Baby Unhugged program thanks to Huggies as of today. Those of you unfamiliar with this program, The Huggies® No Baby Unhugged volunteer program helps ensure all babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) receive much needed physical human interaction, should circumstances prevent a parent from being at their bedside. Volunteers will be available when a NICU infant would benefit from this hugging program from 8am – 11pm when mom and dad can’t be there.
Hugging, and most importantly skin-to-skin, is so very important and play a big role in the health and development of these precious little babies. Nearly 8% of all births or roughly 30,000 babies are preterm, and there have been a lot of studies that show preterm babies are at a greater risk of various health-related problems than those born at full-term. Hugs have been scientifically proven to help babies with gaining weight faster, reducing pain, improving oxygen levels and decreasing anxiety and stress, all things that can be a factor for a preemie baby in the NICU.
Huggies provides funding to start and support these volunteer hugging programs in Canadian hospitals, and Huggies collaborates with Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurses to develop specially-designed diapers for premature babies.
Huggies has created Micro and Nano Preemie diapers – Nano Preemie are pictured below. I’ve shown them here before and still can’t get over the size of them. They are tiny and are much needed in the NICU as babies born a little too soon need extra gentle care for their skin.To date, Huggies has provided $125,000 in grants to five much-needed baby hugging programs in Canadian hospitals, benefitting hundreds of babies admitted to Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) each year, including:
- Markham Stouffville Hospital
- Nanaimo Regional General Hospital
- Victoria General Hospital
- Cape Breton Regional Hospital
- Southlake Regional Health Centre
To learn more about the program visit nobabyunhugged.ca.