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This North Carolina Hospital Is Asking For Volunteers To Cuddle Sick Babies

caitlyn.clancey 31 Aug 2019

One hospital in North Carolina is asking for volunteers to step up for an amazing, rewarding job — cuddling sick babies in the NICU.

According to CNN, Doctors at UNC-Rex Birth Center are looking for people willing to come and spend some quality time with babies born with addiction or other health issues and to help promote their healing through comforting snuggles.

The bustling environment of the intensive care unit can be distressing for these newborns.

Unsplash | Christian Bowen

"It’s bright and it’s noisy," hospital doctor Marie Ambrosie Thigpen explained.

Cuddle volunteers will work to help keep the tots calm and reassured as they complete their often lengthy stay in the unit.

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Not only do the snuggles act as stress relievers for the babies, but they also actually help them heal.

Unsplash | Sharon McCutcheon

"It decreases pain, it decreases the baby's stress and it helps promote healing," Nicole Ross, a registered nurse and the Newborn Screening coordinator at UNC-Rex Birth Center said of the nurturing cuddles.

She added, "It helps with brain development, and it helps decrease their length of stay."

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Some new mothers simply can't cuddle their newborns themselves, so they must pass the vital task off to someone else.

Unsplash | Kelly Sikkema

Jennifer Majure isn't always available to give her two-month-old son, Wilder, the snuggles he needs. But she's happy there are volunteer cuddlers available to help out when needed.

"It's a huge stress reliever," she said. "Knowing that he's in great hands has been a great, tremendous comfort."

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Of course, these volunteers are more than happy to spend some quality time cuddling up to the sweet babies.

Unsplash | Filip Mroz

"This is exciting for me, to get to come and snuggle babies," volunteer Kelli Ready said. "I just feel like I've done something great for the babies to hopefully relieve their stress and improve their day."

UNC-Rex is among many other hospitals in the country that have enlisted outside help to keep sickly babies calm, cuddled, and lovingly nurtured during their extended stays.

h/t: CNN

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