Volunteer To Cuddle Suffering Babies (And Help Them Heal!)
When pregnant women are addicted to drugs and use them when they’re pregnant, their unborn children are exposed to those drugs as well. Those babies have a high chance of being born addicted and suffer because of it.
Addicted babies born to addicted mothers have a condition known as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), which shows a variety of symptoms. The amount of babies born with NAS has increased 383 percent since the year 2000. It’s gotten to be such a huge issue, some hospitals have had to expand their neonatal units just to give special care to these babies.
Symptoms of NAS include: withdrawal, poor intrauterine growth, seizures, birth defects, pre-mature birth, tremors, irritability, sleep problems, high-pitched crying, tight muscle tone, hyperactive reflexes, seizures, yawning, stuffy nose, and sneezing, poor feeding and suck, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, sweating, fever or unstable temperature and developmental delays.
Nurse Jane Cavanaugh works at a hospital in Philadelphia and noticed the trend and decided to do something. She developed a program called the Cuddle Care Program, which has volunteers cuddle babies with NAS. All over the country in hospitals with a need, this program is being incorporated to combat the growing NAS problem and comfort the suffering babies.
If you’re interested in cuddling babies to make them feel better, check your local hospital to see if they have a program already in place. The best thing we can do is give the most innocent among us the best possible start.
Volunteers in the Cuddle Care Program spend hours cuddling with babies who are going through withdrawal. Human touch helps these tiny humans cope with the pain they’re experiencing in a gentle and loving way.
The great news is that the program is working! The babies who are cuddled recover faster and require less medication. This means they can go home from the hospital sooner and get started with their family life. Together we can help these babies.
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