Just try not to get emotional as we tell you about this incredibly rewarding volunteer gig: It’s like being a grandma or auntie, but to some really special babies fighting for their lives in hospitals across the country.
These special babies are addicted to drugs, and snuggles from some very loving volunteers just might be the ticket to their healing.
As drug addiction rates continue to skyrocket across the country, more and more infants are suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).
These infants, exposed to drugs in the womb, require a special amount of care to survive the excruciating withdrawal process. And specially-trained volunteer cuddlers can be an important part of that survival effort.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the incidence of NAS has increased 383 percent in the United States since 2000.
Meaning there are a whole lot of babies that need snuggles.
As a result, cuddle care programs have been established across the country to help these babies born addicted to opioids. A big help to nursing staffs, these volunteers bring hope to a seemingly hopeless situation.
One Pennsylvania nurse, Jane Cavanaugh, knew she had to do something as substance-abuse rates continued to climb in her home state.
So, Cavanaugh told Philly.com she started a volunteer program at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital to help.