I had the opportunity to provide The HUG to a first-time mom and to second-time moms. What I find to be most powerful with this curriculum and form of teaching is that it provides an opportunity to instill confidence in the parents, reassure them that they are doing a good job (by proof of their baby's behavior and cues), while at the same time giving great information that is consistent with their care provider yet is adaptable to any parenting theory or style.
When I visited a first-time mom of twins you could tell that her new life was wonderfully overwhelming. As a mother of twins myself, I know those early days can be hard for absorbing new information if you are running on empty. The HUG curriculum is packed full of useful knowledge that can be presented in a clear and easy language and immediately put to use and practice by a parent.
It was such a joy to see the new mother sigh with relief on several occasions throughout our time together, learning information from the HUG material as she would recognize a behavior that she had seen in her own babies and knows now that this behavior is"normal." Towards the end of our meeting she seemed to gain confidence about how to interpret her own babies' cues and could decipher on her own what cues her babies were trying to relay, instead of trying to listen to all the outside opinions of family/friends about when her babies were hungry, tired, etc.
The power of The HUG is that it has the same effect on moms with older children. It was a good reminder to these moms that every baby is different and that what works for one baby might not work for another, as we talked about babies' temperaments, their abilities to move in and out of different zones, and how they show signs of SOSs.The TO DO method seemed to be particularly enlightening to the mothers as a way to slow down and observe their new baby and the cues that they are trying to relay, whether they are able to self soothe or whether the babies need a little help from mom and dad. They were happy to learn all the body language and behavioral signs of SOSs and were looking forward to putting their new information into action.
I look forward to being able to teach this material, not only in my role as a postpartum doula but also as a childbirth educator and in a class setting. The HUG material is so adaptable to all parents, and it provides opportunities as a teacher to empower and praise, which I believe is support that all parents need.