Island Health recently launched the Huggies® No Baby Unhugged® initiative, a baby hugging program, at Victoria General Hospital (VGH), to help ensure all babies get the hugs they need to help them thrive.
The hospital has implemented volunteers to hug babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), should circumstances prevent a parent from being at their newborn’s side.
“Innovations in patient care can sometimes be as simple as giving a hug,” says Island Health President and CEO, Dr. Brendan Carr. “As an organization focused on putting patients and their families first, I’m proud to see partnerships that help us achieve great things.”
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.
Within the hospital, specially trained volunteers will be available, and on call, whenever a neonatal or pediatric intensive care infant would benefit from this hugging program. Volunteers will cuddle, rock and sing to newborns, often for several hours at a time.
Island Health is the latest organization to implement the Huggies® No Baby Unhugged initiative through a partnership with the Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres (CAPHC). To date, Huggies® has funded and facilitated three baby hugging programs in Canadian hospitals with plans for more, benefitting hundreds of babies admitted to NICUs and PICUs each year.
“We are thrilled to help bring this program to Island Health to give their tiniest patients the hugs they need at a critical time in their development,” says CAPHC President and CEO, Emily Gruenwoldt. “Huggies® deeply believes in the power of hugs and through our partnership, we are dedicated to nurturing babies with the optimal care, comfort, and protection they need to become happy and healthy children.”
To learn more about Island Health’s baby hugging program, visit viha.ca. To learn more about Huggies® No Baby Unhugged® initiative and the benefits of hugging, visit No Baby Unhugged.