Island Health announced a new program today that will benefit high-risk infants.
Victoria General Hospital will be the first hospital in the province to implement the Huggies No Baby Unhugged program, to make sure that new infants get all the cuddles they need when their parents can’t be with them.
Babies in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) will be able to benefit from the services of trained on-call volunteers.
Their job is to provide cuddles, rock and sing to these babies for hours, if needed.
The health authority said vulnerable babies who participate in the hugging program can experience benefits such as stabilized heart rates and body temperature, faster weight gain, improved oxygen levels, and better tolerance to pain, to name a few.
Research has already proven that hugging children as babies provide them with lifelong social benefits – this program aims to apply these findings to newborns, who need constant care and attention that parents can’t always provide.
So, with the appropriate training, you too could become a professional baby hugger!
Click here to find out more about the program.
Update: Island Health is not currently accepting new applications for volunteers.