It’s so unfortunate that innocent newborn babies have to suffer the effect of their mothers’ narcotic addiction, and fight opioid addiction so early on in their lives.
Experts at the National Institute of Drug Abuse believe as many as one baby every fifteen minutes is born with an opioid addiction-related problem.
After birth, these babies are immediately set up in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), battling with gut-wrenching pain and distress at the most fragile time of their lives.
The NICU then often organizes volunteers to work as what they term ‘baby cuddlers.’ Amazingly, thousands of citizens are always willing to help these innocent babies deal with the unbearable pain that comes with opioid addiction.
Symptoms of opioid addiction in babies include mild to severe tremors, seizures, insomnia, high-pitched crying, excessive crying, irritability, tightening of the muscles, hyperactive reflexes, difficulty in breathing and gastrointestinal discomfort resulting in feeding problems.
Incredibly, something as simple as a cuddle can make a world of difference as touch soothes the babies and helps them to sleep.
Volunteers willingly sign up as baby cuddlers, rocking the newborns to sleep, singing to them, providing a comforting human presence, and trying to soothe away their pain.
Vicki Agnitsch, a former nurse and volunteer, says it actually reduces the need for medication. “When they know someone else is touching them, it gives them that warmth and safety and security that they crave. They had that inside the mom, and then they come out into this cold, bright world. They don’t have that, so all of that swaddling, touch, and talk helps their development.” Agnitsch told Hearty Soul.
This baby-cuddling project is already in place in states like Iowa, Virginia, Massachusetts and San Antonio.
However, in San Antonio, the need for baby cuddlers is most dire. It is so bad that the University Hospital in Bexar Country is actively searching for them.
If you are feeling up to it, please reach out to a hospital near you and see if they are in need of baby cuddlers, let us help save these sweet innocent babies one cuddle at a time.