Life is so very precious. Babies are the most precious. I mean, really, what’s sweeter than a newborn baby: the smell, the soft skin, the innocence. There is really nothing better than that!
We all start our lives off depending on our mothers and fathers, to take care of us, especially our moms. In a perfect world, pregnancies would all go full term with no underlying health issues for mom or baby. I do know that happens for many families, but there are also way too many that aren’t so lucky.
Several different problems can arise during pregnancy. Some of those include high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, infections with the mother or baby, and premature labor. Any of these can be dangerous for both mom and baby and sometimes leads to premature birth.
My wife is an amazing woman. How amazing you ask? Well, she’s so amazing that she voluntarily and without question went on complete bed rest for our firstborn for 3 months. This came as a result of the learning of a problem that existed with her uterus after becoming pregnant. He only had half as much space to grow as normal as did our daughter three years later.
Both of them had to spend time in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) at the hospital after being born. Mason was in for several hours for observation, but it was a different story for Maggie. She took up residency (seemed like it to us) for two weeks in the NICU. That was hard, really hard.
One of the biggest things we missed during those first few hours and days was being able to cuddle our newborn babies… that was rough! Those are precious moments, holding a swaddled baby, smelling that ‘baby smell’, and kissing their ever so soft skin.
Our situation was not what we had expected, but we did get to be close most of the time. We were and still are very thankful for the team of doctors and nurses that took great care of our babies. The care they gave to both our kids and to us means the world to our family, even to this day.
Some aren’t so lucky
Every situation is different when it comes to pregnancies. The problems that arise can be vastly different from one pregnancy to another. Many of them come from naturally occurring health issues. Sometimes the problem impacts the mother, keeping her away from the newborn for a time. Unfortunately, some issues come from drug abuse resulting in addicted babies or ones with lifelong health problems.
Whatever the problems may be, it can keep baby and momma apart for a time. Thank goodness for the hospital staff that takes great care of these little ones. They certainly help to make the situation a little easier to handle.
Volunteer Baby Cuddlers Help With Infant Health
I have to say, and this is a really cool idea. Being a volunteer baby cuddler has now made it on my list of things I have to do. The only thing is I wish I would have known about this long ago. Baby cuddling would have certainly knocked something off of my ‘favorite hobbies’ list.
This idea has become very popular in hospitals across the nation. NICU’s have welcomed these volunteers for a number of years now with the need for more always increasing. Some of the babies in the NICU are there because of naturally occurring issues, however, sadly there are some there as a result of drug addiction.
You may ask, “why don’t the parents cuddle their own baby?”. I have no doubt that is exactly what they want, believe me, been there done that. However, circumstances sometimes won’t allow for that to happen. So, that’s where the baby cuddlers come into play. They are there to fill the void and help comfort the babies. Research has actually shown that cuddling helps babies continue to grow and develop.
It Really Makes A Difference
In some areas of the US, baby cuddling has turned into a part-time job at hospitals with high concentrations of NICU babies. The fact that there are that many in need of NICU care is not a good thing. Thank goodness for the ones that are willing and able to volunteer (or work) to help out these families in a time of need. Having someone to care for these ‘at risk’ little ones definitely makes a huge impact on their lives… everyone involved that is.
I hope this story inspires you to take time and help others in some fashion. Speaking for my wife and me, we will definitely be searching out the opportunity to be cuddle volunteers whenever possible. It really makes me smile just thinking about it. How about you?