I really needed a hug this week. Between a divisive election and travel for work, I feel a little stressed. I've been thinking a lot about hugs recently. As a member of the Huggies Parent Council, it's been a focus of my work.
Do you really know the power of hugs?
Sure, they can make grown up's feel better, but for baby they are essential. Huggies has done the research to support this--they know just how important contact and connection are. That's why they started the #NoBabyUnhugged program and I'm so very proud to be a part of it.
To help dive deeper into what #NoBabyUnhugged means, Huggies organized a 2016 Huggies Parents Council meeting in Chicago. We gathered to learn the important work Huggies is doing as a brand to help the most vulnerable.
No Baby Unhugged is Huggies vision to ensure all babies get the hugs they need by helping parents understand and embrace the "Power of Hugs" through the brand’s diapers and wipes, new Hugging Programs in hospitals and continued product donations across the country (read more about diaper need and how to help here).
To kick off the event, we learned just how special a NICU diaper needs to be. We made an assembly line to inspect and fold diapers--just like they do at Huggies. The workers don gowns, hats and gloves and keep strict cleanliness standards to ensure that each diaper is impeccably clean before being hand folded and assembled. These diapers are truly made with love.
Each diaper is made knowing that premature babies need exceptional care. Their skin is incredibly tender and they are much more susceptible to infection. Huggies NICU diapers and wipes are made with so much love.
Once we knew HOW the diapers were made we wanted to see how they were helping. Huggies organized a trip for us to the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago--where the tiniest babies go for a chance at life. We met with the nurses in charge of loving these premies. I was so touched by the compassion they bring to work.
At Lurie they are in the business of care. And it was so apparent that this gorgeous hospital puts families first. From the light-flooded atrium, to the museum quality exhibits to the hotel-like rooms for parents with children in dire need of care--every little thing is tended to so parents can just focus on their children. Nurses and volunteers take special efforts to help babies thrive and help parents celebrate milestones. I thought these footprint mother's day cards were especially sweet with the tiny little print.
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Parents have been instinctively hugging their babies since the beginning of time, but research shows that this natural act can do more than calm a cry or soothe some stress.
Hugs can help keep a baby’s heart beating at a normal and constant rate, improve sleep, support healthy weight gain and lead to an improved parent-baby relationship, according to a recent Huggies study titled The Power of Human Touch for Babies.
The need is great for the 380,000 pre-term infants born in the U.S. each year. Most parents are able to bring baby home soon after he or she is born. But for those parents whose baby needs to stay in the NICU for an extended period of time, they are not always able to be there every minute due to work or other commitments so hospitals regularly develop volunteer hugging or cuddling programs.
Huggies will help give these babies the hugs they need, even when moms and dads can’t be there, by funding hugging programs in U.S. hospitals and partnerships with healthcare professionals. The hospital we visited on the trip, Lurie Children’s, is the recipient of the first No Baby Unhugged grant. Babies as small as 500 grams (about 500 paperclips) have a chance at survival thanks to grants from brands like Huggies.
How can you give a hug?
1. Hug More. Well of course, start at home. Hug it out my friends. Let your babies and big people know you love them. From there, you can think bigger. It doesn't have to be expensive to support this program.
2. Buy Huggies. You can do things you already do--like buy Huggies wipes and diapers.
3. Sign Up. For every person who signs up to become a Huggies Member, Huggies will donate $5 to support volunteer hugging program grants for hospitals. If you’re interested, go to Huggies.com and click on “Sign in or join Huggies” to get started.
Huggies® believes deeply in the Power of Hugs. The simple, loving act is proven to support babies’ emotional and physiological well-being. Huggies® diapers and wipes are inspired by a parent’s hug, – to nurture baby with care, cradle baby in comfort and surround baby in protection. Learn more at Huggies.com, #HuggiesCouncil
This is a sponsored post.