Maternal-Child Nursing Students Gain Knowledge and Confidence from HUG Your Baby Training

Needs Assessment

Research confirms that today’s parents need and want more practical information to understand and care for their newborn. Understanding an infant's behavior and responding effectively to infants' body language promotes parent-child interaction and boosts parent confidence. Consequently, nursing and midwifery students are expected to interact with and teach new parents about newborn behaviors and newborn care, although many initially lack the knowledge and confidence to do so. Education research suggests that computer-based teaching methods, such as online learning modules and web-based videos, appeal to today’s students, enhance learning, and promote confidence and self-efficacy. Video teaching of infant behavior is especially critical because students can SEE the behaviors they are studying without the stress of simultaneously interacting with parents.

HUG Your Baby Online Training Course
HUG Your Baby offers midwifery schools a two-hour, digital program which provides practical, evidence-based information about: newborn behavior, how to interpret and respond to an infant’s cues and body language, and how such information impacts the developing parent-child relationship and breastfeeding success.  This program, available online in Spanish, Italian, Dutch and Japanese  or for uploading to an institution’s digital system, includes: six 10-12 minute video lessons (with convenient “come and go” format);  4 short case studies to read; and a post-test, as well as a course evaluation, to complete. (See this two-minute YouTube description of the course:

School of Nursing Research
Dr. Kathy Alden (, Associate Professor at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing (UNC-CH SON), completed a pilot study assessing the effectiveness of this HUG Your Baby course. One hundred pre-licensure nursing students in the control group received UNC-CH SON’s usual maternal-child teaching about newborn behavior and care. Between semesters, the SON’s faculty received HUG training. The following semester a different one hundred students formed the intervention group and received the schools’ usual maternal-child teaching along with this two-hour digital course completed outside of class. 

Research Results
Compared to the control group, the intervention group demonstrated significantly greater knowledge about newborns and increased confidence to teach new parents. In addition, the intervention-group students gave a positive evaluation of the HUG program and recommended that it be incorporated into the traditional maternity course. Dr. Alden has submitted this study for publication. A larger, multisite, replication study is now underway with UNC-CH, Duke University, and Johns Hopkins University Schools of Nursing.

Other HUG Your Baby research available here: