Hugs reign supreme in our household especially when tantrums ensue. As human beings we hug as greetings and goodbyes and when it comes to kids, we ALWAYS want a hug from them. Lately I’ve been noticing that Baby Boy comes looking for hugs numerous times a day. If he’s upset, if he’s cranky, if he’s sleepy…you name it, he comes looking for a warm hug where he nestles his entire body on me and tries to get as much skin to skin contact. I assumed it comforts him and so when he’s having a tantrum or a meltdown when he’s super tired, I try my best to grab him and sit in a corner embracing him in a big powerful mama bear hug. I didn’t really think much of it until I attended an event last week where the topic of discussion was hugs! I’ve come to learn the true power in hugs, that’s for sure.
Disclosure : This post is in partnership with Huggies, but as always, opinions are totally mine!
I learned that touch is one of the first senses to develop and it happens as early as 8 weeks gestation! That explains all the belly rubbing we engaged in during pregnancy, eh? Dr. Marla Shapiro and members of the Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres, shared the benefits that hugs can have (click the link for a white paper on the topic) and I came to learn that skin on skin contact, not only feels good but also helps with cognitive, behavioral and psychological development.
It should come as no surprise that Huggies Diapers have really thought about the power of hugs and they’re actually taking steps towards educating the public on the benefits of skin to skin contact for newborns. During the month of April, two of my close friends gave birth and I saw the struggles they went through when they weren’t allowed to be with their kids who were whisked off to the NICU. The inability to touch and hold their newborns made them even more nervous and anxious. Clearly the Huggies No Baby Unhugged program hasn’t rolled to all Ontario hospitals! Dr. Shapiro made a great suggestion for new parents who are often frazzled and rely on the expertise of nurses and doctors when it comes to those early days in the NICU…she said to trust your gut and if you feel like your baby needs you, DEMAND skin to skin contact. Many practitioners rooted in old school thinking may not be as ready to embrace the new research. Research has proven the benefits and one mom in attendance shared her story with us. Her newborn baby’s heartbeat wasn’t as high as it should be and was taken away to the NICU, she was working in the hospital and so felt comfortable pushing her way in and seeking approval to pick her her baby up one afternoon …. after an hour her baby’s heartbeat was regulated and it was smooth sailing after that!
When Little Monkey was born, I had the shakes after the C-Section and so there was a slight delay in me being able to hold her skin to skin but once we did it, it all felt right. However for the most part, during the first month the kids were well bundled up and swaddled! When she was have her evening screamfests during the first two months, the hubs would pull his shirt off and try to rock her against his chest. Skin to skin contact isn’t just for moms, even dads (and other caregivers!!) can engage in this practice. These hugs have always had a calming effect on both kids… heck, even we as adults love snuggling don’t we?
No Baby Unhugged is a Huggies initiative to help all moms understand and embrace the power of hugs and to help all babies get the hugs they need, even when moms can’t be there to give it to them. Huggies helps by funding and facilitating hugging programs in Canadian hospitals. Only a handful of Canadian hospitals are able to offer hugging programs but you you can help by showing your support for the No Baby Unhugged campaign. The video above is actually filmed in the hospital where my dad and sister (in law) work and I hear nothing but amazing things about the NICU unit there. I’m heading to Cape Breton this July and I’m going to see if I can volunteer for some hugs!!
Be a No Baby Unhugged Mom and get FREE Huggies Diapers.
Share a photo of you with your little one in your belly or in your arms and become a No Baby Unhugged Mom. When you do, Huggies will thank you for your support with a FREE pack of newborn size Huggies diapers AND (the best part!!) will make a $5 donation to help expand Huggies hugging programs to more hospitals!
I leave for Sri Lanka today and so I’ll be missing my daily hugs, so go enjoy some extra hugs, will ya?