Hospital Is Looking For Volunteers To Cuddle Premature Babies

Premature birth now affects one in five babies. Babies born prematurely are extremely fragile babies who require special care. A hospit...

Hospital Is Looking For Volunteers To Cuddle Premature Babies

Premature birth now affects one in five babies. Babies born prematurely are extremely fragile babies who require special care. A hospital in Canada has just highlighted a very special need for these children, hugs! The neonatal intensive care unit called for a bid to find volunteers to cuddle premature babies.

A premature infant's stay in the hospital is often longer than that of a full-term baby, so parents are not present all day to bring the affection a baby needs and which is vital for His development. This particular context is not easy for parents, for the baby or for carers whose priority is to save the baby, preserve his health, but also guarantee him physical contact by encouraging parents to practice. skin-to-skin as often as possible, or by finding an alternative in case of unavailability of these.

What is a premature baby?

A normal birth occurs after 41 weeks of pregnancy, it becomes premature if it happens before 35 weeks. Every year in France, more than 55,000 babies are born "earlier". The main direct causes of prematurity are: multiple pregnancies, genitourinary or generalized infections, and uteroplacental abnormalities.

A premature baby is more fragile and requires special precautions, it is also a newborn whose all major functions are immature. As a result, there are possible complications of premature birth, respiratory distress syndrome, jaundice, anemia, infections ...

Today, thanks to advances in science, the mortality rate of premature babies has fallen sharply. The work done by neonatal services, whether in terms of hygiene, isolation or emotional care, has greatly contributed to this development.

The St. Boniface General Hospital in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, has proven this with special attention to premature babies. Because the latter has launched a program of hugs for which the management desperately needs volunteers.

Cuddling improves the health of premature babies

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St. Boniface General Hospital has called for volunteers to cuddle premature babies whose parents can not. The ultimate goal of this program is to give these babies the attention they need for normal growth.

A study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry in 2014 mentions that cuddling premature newborns helps reduce stress, improve their sleep habits and contribute to their cognitive development.

However, the benefits of hugs have been studied for a long time. In 1998, Ruth Feldman, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv, discovered how cuddling and holding the baby for extended periods of time could have a positive effect on her development.

For the experiment, premature infants were divided into 2 groups. A group of babies were cuddled by their respective mothers for one hour each day for 14 days, the other group of babies had to have a regular interaction (baby bottles, diaper change, care ...). The study was conducted in 1996, a time when the benefits of hugs were not yet known.

The team observed these babies at 3, 6, 12 and 24 months of age and then at 5 and 10 years later. It was found that babies who received daily hugs were more effective at managing stress, especially when talking in public. They also had better concentration and better sleep habits.

According to Feldman, every mammal needs to be cuddled and must stay close to her mother for the first days and weeks of her life. He adds that human babies are also sensitive to this physical presence. And since premature babies are forced to stay in the hospital for weeks away from their mothers, their need for affection is even greater, especially since hugs can help them recover quickly.

Like St. Boniface General Hospital, many other hospitals have begun introducing hugging sessions in their neonatal intensive care unit. The volunteers also said that they feel the change in babies after receiving their dose of hug!

So, would you be tempted by this type of volunteering?

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Savvy Life Mag : The Magazine Of Wellness: Hospital Is Looking For Volunteers To Cuddle Premature Babies
Hospital Is Looking For Volunteers To Cuddle Premature Babies
Savvy Life Mag : The Magazine Of Wellness
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