If you've been looking for an opportunity to contribute something positive to society, here you go... Click To TweetAll around the United States, there is a growing need for adult volunteers willing to comfort and console babies that are fighting for their lives in Neonatal Infant Care Units (NICUs).
These poor babies are plagued by a condition known as neonatal abstinence syndrome, which is the result of being born addicted to drugs, due to the poor choices made by their mothers whilst in pregnancy. This condition, however, is not induced solely by the use of illegal drugs like heroine, but also legal prescription drugs like painkillers. In fact, some experts, such as the Director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse, Dr. Nora Volkow, believe this epidemic is due partly to the prevalence of prescribed painkillers by doctors;
“…high prescribing rates of opioids to women during pregnancy have probably contributed to recent increases in neonatal abstinence syndrome.”(source)
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, a baby is born every 25 minutes with NAS, and The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the occurrences of this terrible condition have actually increased to 383% in the United States since 2000. That is a shocking figure, that should disturb us all; because this trail (which is part of a larger health care crisis) can partly be traced to collusion between the government and Big Pharma.
Cuddling Is Helping Heal The Drug Addicted Babies
Jane Cavanuagh became aware of this growing tragedy in her home state of Pennsylvania, where she works as a nurse, and knew she had to do something — anything — to try help. Subsequently, she decided to start a volunteer program at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital called the Cuddle Program.
Symptoms associated with the babies’ conditions vary depending on what type of drugs their mother took during pregnancy, but can include “excessive crying, fever, irritability, rapid breathing, sleep problems, trembling, anxiety, vomiting, sweating and even seizures.” But since these programs have been implemented, these symptoms have largely been countered. As one doctor noted, “The power of human touch is extraordinary.”
We Crave Human Connection
During the 13th century, an historian named Salimbene di Adam, documented an experiment conducted by the Roman Emperor Frederick II.
The objective behind the experiment was to raise babies without any verbal or emotional communication, because Fredrick wanted to discover what language the children would innately come to speak.
The experiment was highly unsuccessful though. Because, as noted by Salimbene in his book Chronicles, “the children could not live without clappings of the hands, and gestures, and gladness of countenance, and blandishments.” In other words, they died.
This experiment suggests we literally need human connection to survive; a notion which has since been corroborated by a number of studies. And with the evolution of technology — which has in many ways helped us connect mentally, but disconnect emotionally — this is probably more significant today, than at any time in known history.
So Where Can I Volunteer To Help These Babies?
The practice of cuddling drug addicted babies is actually not a new concept, and dates back as far as the 1980s. It’s also not exclusive to the U.S. alone; The Royal Women’s Hospital in Victoria, Australia has a program as well.
The service of hugging these babies is extremely rewarding for both parties involved, and is the perfect way to help contribute something positive to society. This practice is spreading across the United States, and hopefully will spread to the rest of the world.
You can find some locations below;
If your state (or country) is not listed here, please try a google search. More and more of these programs are being created because they make sense. Please feel free to also comment below if you know of any others not mentioned here. It should also be said that programs like these are created by every day people who simply make the effort to create positive change in our world; so if you don’t see anything in your community, but believe there is a need, contact your local hospital and other like minded people who see this need, and you can help create a program.
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