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Hospitals Need Volunteers To Cuddle Drug-Addicted Babies In The NICU

Emily McWilliams 25 Nov 2019

Sometimes all it takes is a simple cuddle to make a difference in a baby's life. While it may not seem like much, science has proven that cuddling and holding a baby does wonders for their development.

For babies in the NICU, it can be difficult to give them the recommended amount of physical contact. That's why hospitals are recruiting volunteers to cuddle their tiniest patients.

The science of cuddling is a real thing.

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Numerous studies have found that frequent cuddling and physical touch stimulates growth and development for all babies.

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These benefits of cuddling are especially helpful to babies in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit).

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For these babies, who are often born premature or with other serious conditions, physical contact helps to relax them. It also teaches them how to regulate their body temperature and heart rate.

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Sadly, some babies in the NICU are suffering from Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.

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This means that the babies were exposed to drug use during their mothers' pregnancies, and as a result, are going through related health problems and withdrawal.

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Since doctors know how beneficial cuddling can be to these babies, they're recruiting volunteers to cuddle them.

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Each hospital will have its own volunteer program and regulations, so it's best to contact your local hospital for details. The program has been a success in places like the Saint Boniface General Hospital in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

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Volunteers are needed since hospital staff and family can't give each infant a lot of one-on-one time.

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Volunteers are free to rock, sing, or read to the baby while getting some quality cuddles in. This basically sounds like the best job ever, where do I sign up?

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