HUG Your Baby Returns to Italy (Part 3)


Benedetta Costa worked hard to set up a HUG Your Baby presentation in Genoa, Italy, at Istituto Giannina Gaslini. We were delighted to be greeted by more than 50 nurses, doctors, social workers, OTs and PTs in this hospital’s lovely educational facility. The group was sobered, as are we, by a review of current breastfeeding rates in Italy. We had planned a lecture presentation for this formal setting. However, with some encouragement, participants soon offered opinions about what parents want and need, and what barriers today’s young families face. 

They also laughed along with us when we offered our “catch the ball” review of HUG concepts! Participants appreciated the family-friendly HUG language and seemed in sync with our discussion about calming a baby and supporting breastfeeding. The hospital leadership is considering how to incorporate the Italian HUG online training for professionals, the HUG DVD for parents, and “The Roadmap to Breastfeeding Success” handout into the care they provide.

Benedetta, Jim and I celebrated our three days of teaching with a grand view of Genoa and a Bellini cocktail! But our work in Italy has only begun. We are now creating the Italian Certified HUG Teacher program. ()Several participants from our first two-day training have contributed valuable reflections, offered help with translating HUG resources, and are connecting us to Italian organizations and institutions that serve young families. As a HUG Your Baby trainer, Benedetta has already set up the next two-day HUG workshop in Genoa.: October 7-8, 2017.  

It is with a grateful heart (and a stomach full of Italian cooking) that Jim and I leave Genoa hop on the train to the airport. But, we have been invited back next year to share the HUG with Benedetta in Genoa, Florence and maybe Rome. Ciao for now!