The power of a hug is undeniable. From our earliest moments to our last, hugs not only provide emotional comfort and support, but they also have real physical and psychological effects.
This is doubly true for newborns. Medical studies suggest that the effects of human touch and skin-to-skin contact are a part of the healthy development of a child both physiologically and psychologically, leading to a more stable heart rate, improved oxygen levels and improved sleep.
That’s why hospitals like Prisma Health Richland Hospital have grown hugging programs, where hospital volunteers hold newborns whose parents may live far away or are unable to visit due to work, child care or other obligations. The Prisma affiliate recently won a $10,000 award to support the program and says the funds will allow them to purchase more chairs, books and other items that will increase comfort for patients, volunteers and families.
"Our goal at Prisma Health is to do everything that we can to support our families," said Mollie Ironside, pediatric speech language pathologist, Prisma Health Richland Hospital. “We know that touch is a vital part of caring for each patient and something as simple as a hug helps provide babies with what they need to develop and grow. The hugs given by our dedicated volunteers also reduce the burden and stress for families who cannot always be there to cuddle their babies.”
For more information about becoming a Prisma Health Personal Touch Volunteer, call 803-296-5570 or visit their website here.
For more information about the Huggies® No Baby Unhugged grant, click here.