UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's has launched the Cuddlers Program in both our NICU and Pediatrics Unit. Comfort and contact is important for a baby's development. But NICU stays can be long, and it's important for parents to take time for themselves, their other children or work commitments, so they cannot always be by baby's side.
Our Cuddlers can help comfort the little one while mom and dad are away from the hospital. The Cuddler will gently hold the baby, sing lullabies, read to him or her or simply just sit next to the bassinet.
The Cuddler is an adult volunteer who has completed extensive training. The training, led by a team of physical therapists and nurses, includes infection control, hand washing, privacy, baby development and proper cuddling techniques. The volunteers also must complete a background check and have up-to-date immunizations.