Detroit Doula Discovers the Magic of The HUG in Her Work

Jill Reiter is a postpartum doula who works with families in the Metro Detroit area of Michigan.  Though Jill has four children of her own, she reports learning new information from her HUG studies.  She looks forward to sharing the HUG with the parents she works with through her doula business The After Baby Lady.  She has a story to tell us.

Postpartum doulas support new parents after they bring home their babies.   Often I am called to work with a family who has a “high needs” baby.  Baby Henry is a great example of this type of baby.  He was diagnosed with colic by his doctors and spent a lot of time crying.  His parents need support and a break so they call me for help. 

There are several issues causing Henry to be fussy, but understanding his cues help his parents understand how they can help support their sweet baby.   One of the reasons I love showing the HUG DVD to families is that it gives parents language to discuss what is going on with their baby.  This mom mentioned to me what a difference it made to wait for  Henry to get to the Ready (to Eat) Zone.   She said, “Instead of waking him to eat, I know now that he will eat better if he is awake and alert.”  

I am excited to watch Henry’s mom go through the TO DO calming steps one day. Henry starts to fuss and his mom started (T) talking to him.   While she is talking in a soothing voice, I (O) observe Henry get still and listen to his mom.  Just hearing her voice helped him calm down!  I point out what is happening. Mom is amazed at her baby's ability to calm himself.   Henry is sometimes still at the top of the charts with crying so he needs the DO actions.  I modeled swaddling and swaying Henry as a way to support him when he can't soothe himself.

With the HUG tools Henry’s parents and I start to see what Henry can do when he is fussy and support him as needed during his more fussy times.  Having these tools help Henry’s mom feel empowered instead of feeling she isn't a good mother.   Her biggest Aha moment is when we watch the video and she see the mother trying to get her baby's attention while her baby is "switching off" - looking away.  “I have done this! I just felt like Henry didn’t like me,” she shared.  I am so excited to show her the HUG video so she learn about an S.O.S and not that her baby is ignoring his mom!