Huggies, under Kimberly-Clark Baby, has launched No Baby Unhugged to offer hospitals grants through its volunteer hugging programmes.

Huggies has launched No Baby Unhugged to help babies admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit receive the hugs they need when their mums and dads can’t be there at a given time. The group is funding grants for volunteer hugging programmes across hospitals in the United States.

NICUs are starting to integrate such programmes so that the approximate 380,000 pre-term infants born nationwide and other newborns receive enough human contact for their health and welfare. According to the brand’s research, hugging does much more than calm cries and soothe stress.

In a recent study conducted by the diaper company titled The Power of Human Touch for Babies, it was found that hugs can keep a baby’s heart beating at a normal rate, improve sleep, and support healthy weight gain. Chicago’s Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital is the first to receive said grant.

“We believe deeply in the power of hugs, which is why our diapers and wipes are inspired by parents’ hugs. The aim is to nurture baby with care, cradle baby in comfort, and surround baby in protection,” said Giusy Buonfantino, President of Kimberly-Clark Baby and Child Care North America.

For every parent who registers as a Huggies member online, a sum of $5 will be donated to the No Baby Unhugged fund. The grant will go towards specialised training and ongoing support for the volunteers at the aforementioned children’s hospital. Other hospitals interested can learn more here.

Further elements of the programme include creating special diapers and wipes for the tiniest babies and product donations to fight the diaper need issue countrywide. Kimberly-Clark first addressed the crisis in 2010, when a study it did revealed how one in three American mums are unable to provide fresh, clean diapers for their babies.

These parents often had to choose between paying for food or diapers. Since then, Huggies has donated more than 200 million diapers and wipes to help build up a capability of over 300 diaper banks across America as the founding sponsor of the National Diaper Bank Network.

Also, in partnership with NICU Nurses, the brand created special diapers and wipes to match the unique needs of premature infants. The custom-designed products are 100 percent hand inspected, folded individually, and packed by hand to ensure a baby’s delicate skin is clean and healthy.

“We encourage parents to hug as much as they can from very early on. When babies have a long NICU stay and parents can’t be there all of the time, our volunteers step in to provide this crucial interaction,” said Rebecca Meyers, Master of Science, Child Life Manager at Lurie Children’s Hospital.

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