Thursday, November 17, 2016

World Prematurity Day - No Baby Unhugged

November 17th is World Prematurity Day. It helps to bring awareness to the high rate of premature births.  .

Mr. J - approximately 36 hours old
Ten years ago, when  I was pregnant with Mr. J, I never expected that I would be separated from him immediately after his birth.  I dreamt of holding him in my arms, nursing him and just being mesmerized by the little life that had grown inside me.  Unfortunately, my dream was not the reality. He was born early and had difficulty breathing, so he was whisked away to the special care nursery. I could visit him, but I couldn't hold him as he needed to kept in the oxygenated incubator.

At 20 hours old, the doctor told me he was not getting better, and they needed to transfer him to a hospital with a higher level of care nursery.  That hospital ended up being the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO).

He spent most of the next 10 days drugged and hooked up to all sorts of monitors.  All I wanted most of all was to be able to hold my son.  I held him once when he was a few days old (it was a big production to get him transferred to my arms - he had a chest tube they didn't want to disturb - and then another big production to transfer him back to his isolette . Because of the chest tube, most of the nurses wouldn't even attempt moving him out of the isolette) and I wasn't able to hold him again until he was 8 days old.


We made sure to touch his hand, his face, his arms so that he knew we were there. I would talk to him and sing to him, but he didn't get to be held.  Now, at 9 years old, he STILL craves physical contact, and I often wonder if it's because he didn't have it when he was brand new.


We were lucky to live only 25 minutes from CHEO and were able to spend quite a bit of time with him while he was there.  He was our first child, so we had no other kids at home to worry about.  That is not the case with everyone though, and not all babies in NICU's can have their parents with them so often.

Huggies knows how important human touch is for babies and has started the No Baby Unhugged program.  This helps to ensure that ALL babies in the NICU get hugs, even when their mom or dad cannot be with them. They have provided more than $50,000 in funding to 2 Canadian hospitals to get this program up and running, with more locations planned.

There have been studies done that show the many health benefits of skin to skin contact for babies - brain development, oxygen levels and more.  You can be a No Baby Unhugged Mom, and Huggies will send you a free package of diapers for your little one!  Hugs may not make everything better, but they certainly help to reassure us - and all babies deserve to have that.


3 comments:

  1. Glad everything turned out OK in the end. Love what Huggies is doing

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  2. No Baby Unhugged is a marvellous programme. Just think of all the parents who live hours away from their baby in the ICU. All babies should be cuddled and hugged, those in ICU need it even more. I am so glad all went well for you in the end.

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