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HUG Your Baby Goes to Iran

Maryam Mozafarinia is a NICU nurse in Tehran and has just become the first Certified HUG Teacher in Iran. Maryam recently completed a Master's in Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing. With six years' experience as a NICU nurse, she bring great know-how and commitment to her parents. Maryam's special interest is to educate and support NICU fathers. She feels The HUG will give fathers basic knowledge about their baby's body language, help them ask questions, and encourage them to share their feelings and concerns. Today she shares a story about her patient, Mahdi, a little one-week-old.

Mahdi was born at 38 weeks and is hospitalized in the NICU because of TTN (Transient Tachypnea of Newborn). He has had two days of oxygen support and is NPO. Though his reflexes are good, he demonstrates strong, NNS (Non Nutritive Sucking) to calm down. After this short time of restricted feeding, he can now fully breastfeed. Mother’s milk is enough, and the baby has a good latch and sucking pattern.

But, mother seems worried and is not satisfied. During my shift I notice she repeatedly comes over to nurse her baby. Then the baby switches from the Active Sleep/Resting Zone to the Crying/Rebooting Zone.

“What is wrong today?” I ask her. The young mother explains, “It seems like he wants to keep eating, but he still looks hungry.”

I look at the baby. He is fussing and crying and continuously squirming in his mother’s arm. At one time he seems to search for her breast but then refuses to eat. This mother looks tired.

“Let’s see if we can help him calm down,” I say. Since the baby’s belly shows he is overfed, I help his mother hold him upright for burping. Now he is in the quiet, alert, Ready Zone -- a good time to enhance this mother-infant dyad.

I follow some of the techniques I learned in the HUG course. First, I swaddle him to minimize his movement. When he is calm, I shake the rattle to attract his attention. Mahdi’s eyes brighten and his movements freeze. As I continue shaking the toy, he moves his eyes and head to my direction.

Mahdi's mother is surprised by her baby's reaction. I shake the rattle again and he follows its movement. But, after a few moments he sends out an S.O.S (Sign of Over-Stimulation): “Switching Off.” While I am explaining S.O.S. to this mother, I notice that the baby is moving to the Resting Zone's Active/Light sleep.

Because he has entered the Resting Zone, I ask Mahdi's mother to put the baby in his incubator. Mahdi sleeps for three continuous hours and the mother seems more relaxed and calm too.

With HUG techniques and strategies many things are predictable (and possible)! Now, I’m convinced that I can have a better, more friendly and supportive relationship with young parents. Thank you, HUG!

See program for parents, "Breastfeeding Support and Newborn Care for Muslim Families."

© HUG Your Baby 2011