Victoria General Hospital introduces baby hugging program

Island Health has launched a new initiative, a baby hugging program at Victoria General Hospital.  They want 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.

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.

Volunteers will cuddle, rock and sing to newborns, often for several hours at a time.

To learn more about Island Health's baby hugging program, visit viha.ca.

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