New Certified HUG Teacher Helps Mother See Her Baby's SOS

Kati Nyberg is a postpartum doula in Ankeny, Iowa who works with families during the first few weeks of a newborn's life. Let's here what she has to say about incorporating HUG Your Baby into her work with young families.

The newborn period is such a vulnerable time in a woman's life. Being able to communicate with these new mothers is so important. HUG Your Baby training has been incredibly beneficial for me because it allows me to share pertinent information in a kind and gentle way with new mothers. Our goal as postpartum doulas is to help the new mother feel confident in her role and the HUG approach has been a great addition to the support I provide. 

As I think about the families I've had the pleasure of serving during the HUG training, I can think back to one particular newborn that I was working with. The family was very nervous about getting enough sleep, and I assured them I would share as much information as I could not only about baby sleep in general, but also about understanding their own baby's communication so they could get sleep as well. 

When I was listening to the family talk about their newborn, the mother mentioned that the baby loved to have her hands by her face and they shared with me that this was evident on an ultrasound they had in pregnancy as well. She was concerned because those hands seemed to be causing some problems with latching and also waking baby up from sleeping. Sure enough, I was able to see that this newborn loved bringing her hands close to her face while I was there. I began "broadcasting" this baby's movements as she transitioned from the resting zone to the rebooting zone. I then explained to the family (commentated) that she was such a smart baby becuase she was already trying to suck on her hand to settle and calm herself. Of course the new mother looked very proud of her little baby! I asked if they had tried swaddling her yet, and they had but not with her hands inside. I showed them how to do this later in the shift.

It became quickly apparent from her cues that she was hungry and sending out SOS. I broadcasted her SOS of breathing and movements and commentated that these were ways she was communicating with them. I asked mom if she new what baby was needing, and gave mom praise that she could already recognize baby was hungry. I continued to broadcast her cues until the mother had her successfully latched.

As promised, I shared information about the Resting Zone with this new mother while baby was eating. I didn't want to overwhelm her with too much info, but I knew she was really anxious to learn more about baby sleep. We talked about the difference between deep/still sleep and light/active rest. I asked specific questions about her baby and if she had noticed any of these particular characteristics of the two different sleep stages. She thought maybe she had, but she was anxious to watch for them again. I also explained that babies will transition from deep to light sleep about every hour and she was surprised to hear that. I told her to watch for the cues baby is giving before consoling her as she may just be transitioning! 
It was neat to see this mom feel more confident with her newborn in the first few days of baby's life. This relatively short conversation left the mother feeling confident in recognizing her baby's communication, and she was also thankful to learn some new tips and tricks too. This family spent MONTHS of their older sibling's life completely stressed because they didn't understand how he was communicating with them. I am excited for the next shifts with family so we can do more learning and understanding of this baby!

This is the beginning of me incorporating HUG Your Baby into my work. I look forward to having many more HUG stories in the years ahead!

Health Department Lactation Consultant Shares The HUG

Lisa King is a Nutritionist and IBCLC at a health department in Salem, Oregon. Though an experienced IBCLC, she found lots to share with her patients from the HUG Your Baby training. Here is what she has to say.

I am a Public Health Nutritionist and IBCLC. I am so glad I took the time to go through the Certified HUG Teacher training. Many breastfeeding relationships are lost to misunderstandings and uncertainties about what baby's behaviors mean. New parents need reassurance about things such as normal infant sleep patterns, feeding cues, and the meaning of gaze aversion. They need to know that it is not only okay, but important to promptly respond to baby's signs of distress. Now that I have taken this course, I have something helpful to point out in every parent visit and it is a joy to be able to help set these new parents at ease and increase their enjoyment of their baby. I am glad that I ordered the starter kit too, since these reference materials make it even easier to share the concepts that were presented. 

“Ik speel met mijn baby als hij met een bal kan spelen!”

Dit zei Arjan, de echtgenoot van de 28-jarige Hanna, op een middag na hun eerste prenatale bezoek. “Het enige dat hij het eerste jaar doet is eten en slapen,” vertelt Arjan.

Arjan is niet de enige met zijn kijk op een pasgeboren baby. In een onderzoek van Zero-to-Three werd aan nieuwe ouders gevraagd “op welke leeftijd denkt u dat baby’s kunnen communiceren met de wereld of deze kunnen waarnemen? Eénenzestig procent van de ouders dacht dat een baby minstens twee of drie maanden moet zijn voordat ze de wereld om zich heen bemerken.

Tips om deze vader te helpen

De echte waarheid is goed nieuwe voor jou, Arjan, en ook voor Hanna! De meeste baby’s kunnen spelen (en actief communiceren met de wereld om hen heen) zelfs als ze pasgeboren zijn. Een pasgeboren baby kan zich goed concentreren op speelgoed dat ongeveer 25 centimeter van zijn gezicht gehouden wordt. Maar een baby’s vaardigheid om te communiceren, ontwikkelt zich steeds verder. In eerste instantie zal een baby rustig en stil worden als hij speelgoed ziet of hoort. Als zijn ontwikkeling verder gaat, zal de baby in staat zijn om langzaam zijn ogen te bewegen in de richting van het speelgoed. Na verloop van dagen tot een week zal hij in staat zijn om het speelgoed met zijn ogen te volgen en om ook zijn hoofd te bewegen. Ouders zullen ontdekken dat ze het speelgoed langzaam moeten bewegen om de baby de tijd te geven zich hierop te concentreren.

Een “Ah-Ha” Moment voor deze Nieuwe Vader

Tijdens de eerste postnatale controle van het jonge gezin, houdt Arjan zijn pasgeboren baby, Rini, vast en  staart geconcentreerd in zijn ogen. Ik moet de kleine Rini bijna uit de armen van zijn vader rukken. Naast de normale lichamelijke controles wil ik ouders  graag helpen om de fantastische vaardigheden van hun baby te  leren zien.

Terwijl ik Rini voor mij houdt, fixeren zijn ogen op die van mij. Langzaam beweeg ik mijn hoofd naar één kant; Rini’s ogen volgen mij. Als ik iets meer naar links beweeg, verliezen we oogcontact. Ik wacht heel evenen dan kijkt hij mij weer aan. Ik maak me geen zorgen  als ik zie dat zijn ogen een beetje schokken terwijl ze bewegen. (Het is slechts een kwestie van een paar weken voordat net zo soepel bewegen als volwassen ogen.) “Wow” zegt Arjan. “Rini kan zich echt concentreren!”

pak ik mijn kleine rode bal. Rini kijkt op een andere manier naar de bal dan waarneer hij mij aankijkt. Het is normaal dat de meeste baby’s meer interesse hebben in een gezicht dan een voorwerp. Ik beweeg de bal slechts een seconde en Rini’s ogen volgen het als ik het langzaam beweeg. Als Rini begint te wiebelen en zijn ademhaling versnelt, herken ik een SOS (Signaal van Over- Stimulatie ). Voorzichtig houd ik zijn kleine handjes tegen zijn borst en meteen kijken zijn ogen weer intens naar de bal. Nu volgt hij de beweging van de ene naar de andere kant.

“Ja! Net als ik dacht!” zegt Arjan tegen iedereen. “Rini kan al met een bal spelen! Nu is het mijn beurt om met hem te spelen!”

© HUG Your Baby 2017

“Giocherò con mio figlio q uando potrà giocare a palla!”

Questo è ciò che Giovanni, marito della ventottenne Anna disse un pomeriggio, durante la loro prima visita prenatale. “Tanto, tutto ciò che fa il bambino nel primo anno è mangiare e dormire” spiega Giovanni. 

Giovanni non è il solo ad avere questa visione del neonato. In uno studio dell’associazione Zero-to-Three è stato chiesto ai neogenitori “a che età pensate che i bambini possano interagire o entrare in relazione con il mondo esterno?”. Il sessantuno percento dei genitori pensava che un bambino dovesse avere due o tre mesi per accorgersi del mondo attorno a sé.

Consigli per aiutare questo papà

La verità, in realtà, è una buona notizie per te, Giovanni, e anche per Anna! La maggior parte di bambini possono “giocare a palla” (e coinvolgersi attivamente in quanto li circonda) già appena nati. Un neonato può concentrarsi su un giocattolo a 25 centimetri dal suo viso. Ma la capacità di coinvolgimento del bambino è ancora in fase di sviluppo. Da principio, il bambino diventa silenzioso e tranquillo quando vede o sente un giocattolo. Con il maturare delle sue capacità, questo bambino sarà in grado di spostare lentamente lo sguardo verso il giocattolo. Con il passare dei giorni e delle settimane, potrà seguire il giocattolo con gli occhi, nonché girare la testa verso di esso. I genitori si accorgeranno di dover spostare lentamente il giocattolo per dare al bambino il tempo di mantenerlo a fuoco.

Un momento rivelatore per questo neopapà

Ora, al primo controllo della giovane famiglia dopo il parto, Giovanni tiene in braccio Isabella, la sua bambina appena nata, e la fissa intensamente negli occhi. Devo quasi strappare la piccola Isabella dalle braccia di suo padre. Al di là della routine dell’esame fisico, mi piace aiutare i genitori ad apprezzare alcune delle straordinarie capacità del loro bambino.

Tengo Isabella di fronte a me, i suoi occhi sono fissi nei miei. Inclino lentamente la testa di lato: gli occhi di Isabella mi seguono. Quando mi sposto ancora un po’ più a sinistra, i suoi occhi perdono il contatto con il mio sguardo. Esito un attimo e quindi lei si concentra di nuovo su di me. Non mi preoccupo quando vedo i suoi occhi scattare leggermente mentre si spostano (ci vorranno alcune settimane prima che possano muoversi fluidamente come quelli degli adulti). “Però!” dice Giovanni. “Isabella può davvero prestare attenzione!” 

Quindi prendo il mio sonaglino rosso. Isabella guarda il sonaglino in modo diverso da come guardava la mia faccia. È normale che molti bambini siano più interessati ai visi, inizialmente, che agli oggetti. Ma basta che scuota un secondo il sonaglino e gli occhi di Isabella lo seguono mentre lo sposto lentamente. Quando Isabella comincia a oscillare, riconosco un 
SOS (segnale di sovrastimolazione)Le tengo dolcemente le piccole mani contro il torace e, immediatamente, i suoi occhi guardano di nuovo attentamente il sonaglio. Ora ne segue il movimento da una parte all’altra.

“Sì! Proprio come pensavo!” dichiara a tutti Giovanni. “Isabella può già giocare con me! Adesso tocca a me giocare con lei!" 

© HUG Your Baby 2017