Volunteer "cuddlers" hold sick babies at Miller Children’s Hospital in Long Beach to help them heal faster and regain their trust of touch.
By Mary Harris
| Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 | Updated 9:37 PM PST
The program at Miller Children’s Hospital was started in 2004 by two veteran NICU nurses. Kate Daeley said simply that touch is "medicine." Mary Chinchilla adds, "Science is proving what Mother Nature has always known that babies need to be held."
Studies now show that being held can improve a baby’s body temperature, blood pressure, and weight and brain development. Daeley has seen evidence of this over and over again.
"They are going home healthier because they are being held," she said.
And there is another important reaction to being held. Chinchilla said premature babies need significant medical attention, and that means needles and tubes, poking and prodding. As a result, "they learn to distrust human touch and they get afraid."...