Cuddlers help babies – level 3
For over 35 years, Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, USA, has been helping infant patients and their families through a volunteer cuddler program.
When families are away from the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), volunteers comfort infants with cuddles. Families can’t be in the hospital all the time, but the babies had needs after they left. The staff understood these needs, and volunteer cuddlers helped. A lot of the volunteers are parents whose children were in the NICU before. After undergoing extensive training, they are using their experiences and skills to provide other parents a sense of relief and security.
Studies show that interactions like holding, rocking, singing, reading and talking to the infants reduce stress and pain, and they improve their overall physical health.
Difficult words: infant (a very young child), neonatal (newborn children), comfort (to make someone feel better).
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