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Eskenazi Health wins Huggies grant to expand 'Cuddle Buddies' program for NICU infants

Posted: 1:58 PM, Feb 18, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-19 10:52:14Z
Volunteers at Eskenazi Health hold, sing to, rock and talk to the babies when their parents are unable to be there.
Volunteers at Eskenazi Health hold, sing to, rock and talk to the babies when their parents are unable to be there.

INDIANAPOLIS — Do you love babies? Do you love cuddling babies? Then you might be interested in an available volunteer opportunity at Eskenazi Health.

The hospital received a $10,000 “Huggies No Baby Unhugged Hospital Hugging” grant to expand their “Cuddle Buddies” program and they’re looking for new volunteers.

They’re recruiting volunteers who want to commit to a long-term partnership with the hospital and expand their program.

The purpose of the program is to aid the development of infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

PHOTOS | Cuddling babies is good for your health

“Being held is a natural, no-cost intervention that can help with pain management, better sleep, faster growth and shorter hospital stays,” the hospital said in a release.

Volunteers hold, sing to, rock and talk to the babies when their parents are unable to be there.

“What an asset to have the cuddlers here to love and cuddle our babies when the nurse needs to attend to the next patient,” Kellie Rumple, an Eskenazi Health NICU staff nurse, said. “I can only imagine how much the babies are benefiting because we have cuddlers who read and sing to the babies. This is such a wonderful program.”

Cuddle Buddies volunteers must be 18-years-old and non-smoking. They’ll complete a full volunteer onboarding process, which includes a health screening, a flu shot and e-learning modules.

Volunteers will work one three-hour shift per week and must be able to make a long-term commitment to the hospital.

Eskenazi Health delivered more than 2,500 babies in 2018, about a quarter of those infants were admitted to the NICU after birth.

For more information about this program, call: 317-880-3311