Sharon Stevenson has just become a Certified HUG Teacher. She is also certified as a Birth Doula, in Prenatal and Postpartum Yoga, Infant Massage, Happiest Baby on the
Block, Itsy Bitsy Yoga, Signing Safari, and HypnoBirthing. Sharon teaches
all of these classes at her small studio in Alexandria, VA. Today she shares
her journey with HUG Your Baby.
This year when I attended the
HypnoBirthing conference someone mentioned to me that I should look into the
H.U.G. program. That day I looked up the program and within a few short weeks
was working towards my certification. I am fascinated by this work and wish I
had known about this program a long time ago. It seems that learning this
information should be a prerequisite to being a parent or working with infants.
After going through the
H.U.G. program I realized what a wealth of information the baby gives us and,
yet, most people have no idea what is happening before their eyes. For example,
now as I teach a Mom and Baby Yoga class I notice that babies are moving in and
out of Zones; they are sending loud SOS messages, but no one is listening to
them. When I teach a mom one or two H.U.G. techniques to try, she is amazed by
how quickly her baby responds. Once parents understand the Zones and the SOS
messages, it is easy for them to bring their babies to a calmer state.
Here is a description of
using the H.U.G. with one of my families.
"Jackson is three months old,
however, he was born 4 weeks early via C-section. Jackson is great at giving
cues to his mom and what is equally great is that his mother read him
perfectly. Jackson is very alert and active and rarely has had a rebooting
I spent two hours with them
and his mother found that all the HUG techniques simply affirmed that she was
doing a great job with Jackson. He was in a deep sleep when I arrived. We observed
him as he brought himself it an active, alert Zone, but gave him the time to
see if he wanted to go back to sleep or play.
Once in the Ready Zone, which did not take him long at all, Jackson was
a party animal! He loves kicking any
pillow that leans against his feet. He also tracked a toy from one side to the
other with many smiles and out loud laughs. He is also quite a
conversationalist as well.
After playing he
gives his mom his nursing cue. Once nursing Jackson began to wiggle around so
we stopped our conversation and mom stroked the top of his hand, which brought
on a good strong suck. At the end of the session the mom voiced a bit of concern
over all the family members that Jackson is going to be around suring the
holidays. Mom wants to protect him from over stimulation. She also was concerned that her mom, who is
coming to visit, would over- stimulate Jackson. I offered to loan her the HUG DVD to show her
mother saying that I was sure once her mom viewed the DVD she would be better prepared to understand exactly what Jackson is
My plans are to teach this
program to couples before they have their babies. I already teach Happiest Baby
On The Block and now I am going to incorporate H.U.G., Dunstan Baby Language,
and a little Itsy Bitsy Yoga and Infant Massage into a class of its own.
We spend a lot of time
thinking about how to get the baby into the world and I would like to now
encourage expectant parents to spend an equal amount of time understanding
babies before they enter their family.
Award-Winning DVDhelps parents read their baby's body language to prevent and solve problems with eating, sleeping crying, and parent-child bonding.
Issues of Confidentiality
Specific names and circumstances in this blog are fictional. .
Jan Tedder, BSN, FNP, IBCLC
Jan Tedder, BSN, IBCLC, Family Nurse Practitioner
Jan has worked in a primary care setting with babies and their families for thirty years. A graduate of UNC Charolotte and Chapel Hill, she has lectured at both national and international conferences. She has been honored as the NC Maternal Child Health Nurse of the Year. Her website, DVD, and online training are winners of the 2007 and 2009 National Health and WWW Awards.