In addition, I have spent time considering how best to teach the HUG ideas and what new materials to create. Because I teach best with stories and video, Jim and I discussed where we might videotape babies in this part of the world. We were delighted to have the opportunity to tape a number of babies in Malaysia.
And, after inquires were sent and emails returned, Jim and I also arranged a return stay in Hobart, Tasmania, to work with the Royal Hobart Hospital's "Midwifery Group Practice" (MGP).
Kimmy Brooks, a friend and experienced MGP midwife, is our connection here, and she graciously spent some of her "annual leave" time gathering the support of MGP's leadership, the approval of the hospital, and the scheduling of interested pregnant patients due in November, when we were able to come back to town. In exchange I offered several complimentary HUG trainings to interested staff at The Royal and free DVDs to the parents whom we videotaped.
Every time I encounter a newborn I am impressed once again by how much each baby has to teach. As I review the six babies I taped in Hobart and the seven I saw in Malaysia, I realize that I have collected video of most of the behaviors I had hoped to see. Here are a few examples of the lessons these babies taught:
Baby C: These dedicated first-time parents are challenged by a baby who is "hard to settle." I observe that this baby moves randomly and unpredictably between Zones, demonstrates few self-soothing behaviors, and struggles with efforts to orient (to look at a toy, or my face). Helping these parents see objectively the behaviors that are at this time challenging is helpful. In addition, hearing about each baby's unique development, and showing them techniques to help this baby with Zone regulation (such as swaddling before attempts to engage visually), is reassuring for these concerned parents.
Though I have completed initial editing of these videos in order to share them with the parents who volunteered their time, I expect to spend a number more hours watching, sorting, and watching again this precious example of the complexity of a baby's behavior, and the range of parents' experiences with a baby, as I continue to plan how best to convey the most important information to the widest range of interested professionals. This will be fun!
I'm looking forward to finding time for this project both before and after our time in Thailand--where we are going tomorrow for several weeks and a number of HUG Your Baby presentations in Bangkok and Chiang Mai.