NICU Nurse Becomes a Certified HUG Teacher

Sue Lee, a newly Certified HUG Teacher (CHT), has been considering how to continue to serve young families when she retires from her work in the Neonatal Paediatric Intensive Care Unit in Hobart, Tasmania. She attended an introduction to HUG Your Baby at her hospital and later completed the CHT program with the idea of sharing it with parents both now and when she retires.

Sue shares that "babies are truly amazing, precious, remarkable human beings who are ready to engage with their environment from birth. However, NICU babies require special support after birth, and their parents also need special help to understand and respond to their baby. The HUG gave me new information about the importance of (and skills for) empowering these parents."  Following is a story of one of the babies she helped to evaluate.

"Baby C" was born full term and is now five days old. Though doing well now, this baby had important risk factors because Mum required pain medication throughout her pregnancy. She and her husband had an opportunity to be exposed to HUG Your Baby techniques during Mum's pregnancy. This couple learned information about: a newborn's "Zones" and "SOSs," infant crying patterns, breastfeeding tips, sleeping states, and a newborn's abilities to engage and play.

"This baby was brought to my office for a weight check. I needed to unwrap the baby for a careful weighing and quickly discovered that this was a good opportunity to comment on the baby's "SOS" behavior. When the baby entered the "Rebooting Zone," the crying-fussy state, I was prepared to demonstrate comforting techniques. However, to my surprise, Dad immediately came to the examination table, bent down and started talking softly to his baby. Then he supported the baby's hands to midline, and the baby immediately began to calm. As the baby's fussiness decreased, his movement slowed down, his breathing became more regular, and his eyes brightened. The baby became alert and looked intently at his father. Since both parents and professionals were concerned that this baby might exhibit Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), we were all reassured to see this newborn calm to his father's action."

"I am delighted to see this effective parenting, prompted by his viewing of the HUG DVD, and I commend the father on his response to his baby. I go on to explain to Mother and Father that their sensitivity to their baby is critically important now, and that over the next few weeks their beautiful baby will be increasingly able to handle external stimulation as he continues to explore and enjoy his new world. The parents were obviously pleased and grateful to receive the HUG Your Baby information antenatally, and I was glad to have this tool to share and use with them."