Bali: HUG Your Baby Workshop at Bumi Sehat

This week I had the opportunity to provide a short workshop to midwife interns at Bumi Sehat. These professionals are here for several months to gain hands-on experience in the world of birth. Some come with much passion to serve women but little experience with birth. Others come at the end of midwifery training to get a range of birth experiences.

Like other HUG participants, these women think HUG's "Zones and SOS" language will help make subtle but important observations more accessible to parents--in both the developed and the developing world. Attendees new to maternity education also found information on sleep states and normal crying patterns especially useful.

What delighted me most, however, was the enthusiasm of several participants for the HUG Strategy: "See, then Share" the mother's and baby's behavior. I loved demonstrating the power of this strategy in a role-play with my CNM friend, Elizabeth Walters. She played a new mother and I took on the role of a midwife making a home visit. I first complimented the mother in general ways, e.g., "You are such a good mother!" "Breastfeeding seems to be going well."

Then I demonstrated the power of specific statements such as: "I love the way you cuddle your baby tummy to tummy as you breastfeed." "I see your baby looking up at you as you gently speak to him." "It seems your baby is showing us one of those SOSs now--just a bit of tremoring of his hand and breathing a bit faster. I wonder what would happen if you gently held his hand to his chest."

Bumi Sehat inspires birth professionals everywhere, and these lucky trainees are delighted to be growing and learning in this setting. It was an honor to share The HUG in such an exhilarating environment.