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Give Them The HUG: An Innovative Approach to Helping Parents Understand the Language of Their Newborn

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Research suggests, and perinatal educators experience, that misunderstanding newborn behavior can undermine a new parent's confidence, decrease breastfeeding success, interfere with bonding, and even contribute to neglect and abuse. This article examines current literature and focuses on three skills parents need in order to become confident and effective mothers and fathers: understanding a newborn's state, reading an infant's cues, and appreciating a baby's capabilities. Using language that is family-friendly, concise, and clear, this article describes an innovative program, called “The HUG,” which provides this information and gives perinatal educators new skills and techniques for explaining newborn behavior to parents in order to help parents understand, enjoy, and attach to their baby.

Keywords: newborn; newborn crying; newborn cues; newborn states; parent education

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2008

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