Huggies® No Baby Unhugged®: Importance of the Initiative

Huggies® No Baby Unhugged®: Importance of the Initiative

A part of me will always feel anxious when May comes around. I can’t seem to shake the feeling even almost seven years later, I still see the effects creep into my life. As my oldest daughter’s birthday nears I am brought back to the traumatizing events that were her birth. The Huggies® No Baby Unhugged®: Importance of the Initiative.

My water broke at 32 weeks. The doctor’s say it was a fluke but I know deep down inside that there were many reasons. Getting pregnant right after my son (they are only 10 months apart), the insane amount of stress I was going through, and just a general anxiety over being a first-time parent had driven my body into a depleted, desperate thing. The full day walking around the Toronto Zoo in scorching weather while pushing a stroller were probably the final straw of what I could physically handle. Sometime in the early morning of May 21st, 2009 my water broke while I was sleeping. I was 32 weeks pregnant and I thought I peed the bed. I remember standing at the foot of my bed while fluids continued to leak telling my husband something was wrong.

As I headed out to the hospital with just a book, my cell phone, and health card alone, I was sure that I would be back home with my hubb and son very soon. It wasn’t until Labour & Delivery checked me out and told me my water broke and that I would NOT be able to leave that the severity of the situation sunk in. At 32 weeks my baby would be small, tiny even. Possible complications were scary and as I waited to be admitted I called my husband. I like to think that I am pretty calm and my husband assured me that he would be fine with our son while I got settled in. I decided to flee the hospital (not recommended) and gather some belongings. Not belongings for my little girl because I knew she would not be coming home with me, but I for sure needed a tooth-brush and to see my little family before I got settled in. Long story short my husband and son were both crying when I walked in and surprised them but after a quick chat we all calmed down and I returned to the hospital*

I stayed at the hospital for a week on bed rest. My parents and in-laws ended up taking our son so that hubby could spend time with me at the hospital. I started getting steroid shots to grow little E’s lungs at lightning speed and  everything seemed to be fine until day six. I spiked a fever and couldn’t fall asleep. On day seven the orders were given to induce me and at 7 PM we started the process. I was exhausted and once I got my epidural my husband and I fell asleep around midnight.

Waking up at 5 AM to all of the alarms going off in the room is a scary feeling. The lights flew on and all of a sudden the room was full of nurses, doctors and people were scrambling to get ready for I don’t know what. What I did pick up was our baby was in distress and right then and there these people just wanted to make sure she was going to be OK.

I was quickly turned on my back and when the nurse checked me they found E. My body had continued to contract and labour and while I was doped up on my epidural and sleeping E had come into this world. She was whisked away into her incubator and the team went to work on my little girl. No cries for what felt like a lifetime but I know from the video it was mere seconds. Even when it did come it was so quiet I felt like “shooshing” everyone in the room so I could hear. With breathing issues that were expected they whisked her away and that was that. I never got to hold her and I never got to get that important skin-to-skin that was so vital to both of us. I felt robbed and that loss followed me for years after her birth. I was a shit mom to her. I feel like shit about it don’t worry. **

no baby unhugged

You see when I had a baby that I knew I couldn’t take home with me, in my  screwed-up head, I didn’t have that baby at all. I begged to be released so that I could go home to my son, the baby that I could hold in my arms and one that was “real”. For the almost month that she was a resident of the NICU I would do in a couple of times a day and hold her. Through the tangle of tubes, wires and lights for her jaundice we would hug it out. Sitting in a room with parents going through a similar ordeal I just hugged her. In time, she figured out how to feed and we knew the time to take her home was near.


It would take years until I sorted through all of my feelings of failure to repair the relationship that should have been there from the moment she was born. We’re all kinds of awesome sauce now–see 🙂

no baby unhugged

Huggies® No Baby Unhugged® Initiative

A few weeks ago I was invited by Huggies® to learn more about the No Baby Unhugged® Initiative. I got to listen to Dr. Marla Shapiro, Dr. Marsha Campbell-Yeo, PhD, and Dr. Christine Chambers, PhD, talk about the program over a beautiful breakfast with my two youngest kids.

No baby unhuggged
Dr. Christine Chambers, PhD, Dr. Marla Shapiro, and Dr. Marsha Campbell-Yeo, PhD

Listening to the benefits of skin-to-skin from these ladies made be both sad of my own experience but happy because I know more moms will have the opportunities to hold their littles closer with the new research

no baby unhugged

Huggies® along with the Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres (CAPHC) is funding and facilitating hospital hugging programs in Canada. After reading more than 600 studies and crunching all of the numbers, it is shown that the power of hugs is highly beneficial to our most vulnerable babies. This year Huggies has given $50,000 to set up this program in two hospitals so far (Cape Breton Regional Hospital & Southlake Regional Health Centre) and two more are set to launch later in the year. This means that hugging chairs, hugging stations and the dozen of Hugger Volunteers will be in even more NICU’s and even more babies will benefit from the power of touch. I wish this was around when little E was spending her month away from us.

no baby unhugged

Benefits of Kangaroo Care (Skin-to-Skin)

What is Kangaroo Care?

Kangaroo Care, or skin-to-skin, is the practice of hugging and holding your newborn baby, clad only in a diaper, against your bare chest. It’s one of the most valuable gifts that you can give your child.

How can Kangaroo Care help a newborn baby?
The benefits of skin-to-skin hugging for a newborn infant can include:
• More stable heart rate
• Improved oxygen levels
• More stable body temperature
• Improved pain tolerance

How can Kangaroo Care help new moms and dads?
Kangaroo Care can provide healing for new moms and dad in many ways, including:
• Greater success with breastfeeding
• Reduced anxiety and stress
• Improved sense of control
• Improved parent-baby relationships
• Greater confidence as you provide intimate care that can help improve your baby’s overall health

Ways to get started
A nurse or doctor can answer any questions you may have about Kangaroo Care. General instructions for performing Kangaroo Care include:
• Remove your bra and wear a blouse or shirt that opens in the front
• Place your baby on your bare chest in an upright position, wearing only a diaper
• Cover your baby with your shirt, gown or a blanket
• Now simply relax and enjoy this unique bonding experience
• Let your baby rest; this is not a time to play with your baby
• Plan on holding your baby for at least one hour, four or more times a week
• New fathers can provide Kangaroo Care for their babies, too. The different sensation of the father’s chest will provide unique stimulation for your baby
• Improved sleep
• Faster weight gain
• Healthier brain development

Want to Get Involved?

Huggies® wants to give you the opportunity to become a No Baby Unhugged® Mom. By sharing a photo of your baby in your belly or in your arms via www.nobabyunhugged.huggies.com Huggies® will thank you with a free pack of Huggies Diapers for your newborn and donate $5 towards the No Baby Unhugged® hospital program.

No Baby Unhugged

Huggies® Canada on Social Media

Keep up-to-date with all things Huggies through their social media accounts. Great way to see the progress of the initiative as well.




Also, get your tissues and check out this video of the No Baby Unhugged® program in action and see how one No Baby Unhugged® Mom got a first-hand look at the benefits of the program.

What do you think of the No Baby Unhugged® Initiative by Huggies and CAPHC? Have you been touched by the benefits of skin-to-skin?

*I lived down the street from the hospital and took a cab home and back costing $5 each way. If I thought I was in danger I would not have done it.

**She was never in harm and where I failed my loving husband picked up the slack and cared for his princess like any dad would.

This post was sponsored by Huggies. I am a HUGE supporter of Huggies and you can search my site for other posts I have done about them.
Aneta Alaei
Aneta Alaei

Aneta is a Toronto-based mom of four that loves a good meal, great company, and learning something new. In her free time, you can find her trying to keep yet another plant alive.

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  1. May 10, 2016 / 12:00 am

    Ahhh this made me cry, she’s such a cute little peanut and you’re an amazing mom! Love this campaign

  2. Jenny Ha
    July 30, 2016 / 10:56 pm

    Love Huggies! I got my free pack from the no baby unhugged program and I definitely snuggle my baby boy all the time

  3. Victoria Ess
    December 23, 2016 / 9:36 am

    What a wonderful initiative! I would love to be involved in this!

  4. kathy downey
    August 16, 2017 / 12:00 pm

    Greta program my daughter got a free pack from the no baby unhugged program when she had her son recently!