Home: But The HUG Keeps Going!

This week Jim and I reflected on our year abroad as we prepared for our flight back to Raleigh-Durham. (Click here for a glimpse at these reflections.) As we flew past an amazing North Carolina sunset, I was struck with such excitement and appreciation about those who have agreed to keep those HUGs going in their home country and to enhance the work of HUG Your Baby internationally. It is with great delight that I write my final HUG Your Baby's International Teaching Tour blog and introduce you to those who are making a difference in the world!

HUG Your Baby International Country Representatives
(in alphabetical order)
Australia's HUG Your Baby Distributor: Barb Glare, IBCLC, is a lactation consultant with decades of experiences at a large rural hospital in Victoria, Australia. She was one of the early leaders of the Australian Breastfeeding Association and is currently Director of Breastfeeding Conferences, a company that produces conferences for midwives, lactation consultants and nurses in Australia and New Zealand. Having hosted many international leaders in the field of lactation, Barb has a pulse on issues that impact breastfeeding mothers around the world. Barb brought HUG Your Baby to numerous cities in Asia-Pacific and is a distributor for HUG resources. Contact Barb at zacdan@datafast.net.au  Read about The HUG in Australia.

Holland's Director of HUG Education and HUG Distributor: Elly Krijnen, RN, IBCLC, has decades of experience caring for young families and training nurses, midwives, lactation consultants and kraamverzorgenden (similar to postpartum doulas) in Holland. As a mother of three (now grown and thriving) NICU babies, she is especially attentive to the concerns of families with premature babies. Formerly the owner and manager of a maternity center in Amsterdam, Elly now works as a private lactation consultant and is co-owner of "Baby en Borst" (Baby and Breast), a charming store and educational center in Almere. Contact Elly at infor@babyenborst.nl Read about The HUG in Holland. 

Iran's Program Director of HUG Your Baby and HUG Research Advisor: Maryam Mozafarinia, RN, MSN, CHT, recently completed a Master's degree in Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing from Teheran University School of Nursing, where she became the first Certified HUG Teacher in Iran. She currently lives in Canada with plans to complete a DNP with a focus on neonatal nursing. Maryam translated The HUG materials into Farsi and published research on using The HUG to teach fathers of infants in a NICU. In the process she developed the HUG for Iran website. Contact Maryam at smaryammozafari@yahoo.com Read about Maryam's research in Iran.

Italy's HUG Your Baby Distributor: Benedetta Costa, founder of the Italian Association of Infant Massage (A.I.M.I.), distributes the Italian HUG DVD through Infant Massage srl. Benedetta founded the A.I.M.I. decades ago to help parents learn the power of infant massage to connect with their newborn. She has worked tirelessly to grow this program to its current 4,000-person membership. Contact Benedetta at prodotti@infantmassage.it  Read about The HUG in Italy!

Japan's Director of HUG Education and Research: Yoko Shimpuku, RN, CNM, PHN, PhD, CHT, has worked clinically as a nurse midwife in both hospitals and birth centers in Japan. She earned her PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Yoko's work has been published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at international conferences. She conducts research in Tanzania for the education of pregnant women, adolescent girls, and local midwives. A former intern with the WHO, Yoko's international efforts have been recognized with multiple research grants and awards. Yoko is Assistant Professor at the School of Nursing, St. Luke’s International University, Tokyo. She created the Japanese HUG website and Facebook page. Contact Yoko at yokokitty@gmail.com  Read about The HUG in Japan.

Malaysia's HUG Your Baby Distributor: Ning Desiyanti Soehartojo, MD, IBCLC, is a physician in Shah Alam, Malaysia, where she has provided primary care to families for many years. More recently, she has become an IBCLC and is now focusing her care on supporting breastfeeding women in Malaysia. Ning is becoming a Certified HUG Teacher and wants to integrate this information into the care she provides. Contact Ning at ningds@gmail.com  Read about The HUG in Malaysia.

South Korea's Director of HUG Education and Research: Min Sung Kwon, RN, MSN, received her Master's degree in mental health nursing from the University of Sydney in 2013 with a thesis focusing on postpartum depression. (Click here to see an interview about this work). Min is currently studying and working in Australia at breastfeeding clinics as she prepares to become an IBCLC. Contact Min at ms9989@hotmail.com  Read about The HUG in South Korea. 
Thailand's HUG Your Baby Distributor: Meena Sobsamai is a nurse-midwife and lactation consultant (IBCLC) in Bangkok. She has decades of experience providing prenatal, delivery and antenatal care in Thailand and has contributed to the leadership team for the Childbirth and Breastfeeding Foundation of Thailand and Thailand's WHO Baby-Friendly Initiative. She developed "BirthaBaby," a company that educates parents and professionals and markets beautiful, hand-made childbirth teaching materials. Meena will soon be distributing the Thai HUG Your Baby DVD. Contact Meena at sobsamai@yahoo.com.  Read about The HUG in Thailand.

HUG Your Baby's Child Development Consultant: D. Camille Smith, MS, EdS, CPD, is an educational psychologist who was trained in the Brazelton NBAS exam and its counterpart for premature babies, the APIB. She initially worked with new families and babies transitioning from the NICU to home and then for years at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), where she designed curriculum for interventions with parents. Camille is the co-author of the Essential Package of Health and Developmental Services (EP) – an HIV parenting intervention resource used internationally. She is thrilled to be recently certified as a postpartum doula and looks forward to sharing her experience with young families and to helping professionals integrate HUG Your Baby into their work. Contact Camille at dcamillesmith@att.net 

HUG Your baby Trainers:
Gale Touger, BSN, FNP, CHT, is the first HUG Your Baby Trainer. She has worked professionally with families for more than thirty-five years and more recently excels as "Grandma Par Excellence" (shown here). Gale studied at Boston University, Duke University, and UNC-Chapel Hill. She was honored as the NC Nurse Practitioner of the Year, received the Barbara Bennett Peer Assistance Award, and is a member of Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society. Gale is certified in Brazelton's Touchpoints and the Brazelton Center's CLNBAS teaching exam (now known as the NBO) and integrates The HUG into her work as a nurse practitioner in Beaufort, SC. As a HUG Trainer Gale teaches local professionals, helps to study and develop the HUG curriculum, and joins Jan in "Giving a HUG" to parents and professionals across the USA. She is currently completing research on the impact of teaching The HUG to professionals in outpatient settings. Contact Gale at gale@touger.net.

Barbara Hotelling, MSN, WHNP, IBCLC, CHT, has worked for decades as a postpartum home visiting nurse, nursing instructor, doula, and childbirth educator. She has published in numerous peer-reviewed journals and spoken internationally on issues related to providing evidence-based birth and parenting care. Barbara has served and led the birthing community as President of both Lamaze and DONA, and as a CIMS site evaluator. She has been honored by Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (2006), Nurses’ Education Funds Scholarship (2005), Mother-Friendly Nurse Recognition-ANACS (2003), Elisabeth Bing Award-Lamaze International (1998), Who's Who in American Nursing (1996), and Who's Who in American Women (1996). Barbara is currently a clinical instructor at Duke University School of Nursing, where she was named the "Clinical Instructor of the Year" (2014). Contact Barbara at barbara@hotelling.net.

Vice President and Director of "HUGs for Dads"Jim Henderson, PhD, brings skills to HUG Your Baby as a teacher, editor, journalist and administrator with experience in public relations, publishing, and fund raising. He earned degrees at Gettysburg College (BA), Columbia University (MA), and Duke University (PhD). For thirty-two years Jim worked as a teacher and administrator at Carolina Friends School, where he gained day-to-day experience with innovative and effective approaches to developing the hearts, minds, and spirits of the next generation. A lifelong musician, Jim has performed professionally for six decades and wrote and performed (with colleague, Tony Bowman) the HUG Your Baby theme song. Jan, Jim and Tony are currently writing, arranging, and recording HUGs Around the World: Lullabies to Calm Babies and Empower Parents. For more than a decade Jim worked to compose, write, and produce Ariel's Way (a modern musical adaptation of William Shakespeare's The Tempest), which deals theatrically with timely themes of parenting and forgiveness. He is currently creating "HUGs for Dads," a program to help prepare fathers-to-be for the journey ahead.