Hospitals and HUG Your Baby

Today’s hospitals face the often overwhelming task of providing evidence-based, Baby-Friendly and up-to-date discharge education for diverse maternity patients. HUG Your Baby is here to help!

Challenges facing today’s hospitals include:

  • Shortened hospital stays
  • Decreased attendance of patients at prenatal, breastfeeding, and childbirth classes
  • Diversity of patient education, culture and family constellation
  • Importance of HCAHPS scores (tied to Medicaid reimbursement) include:
      • Patient satisfaction survey after discharge
      • Assessment of staff’s ability “to explain things in a way that new parents understand” and to prepare mothers for care of self and baby after discharge


Benefits of HUG Your Baby Training and Resources:

  • Offers engaging, economical and efficient digital resources for staff and patients uploaded to your in-hospital training system
  • Provides multicultural, inclusive images
  • Helps staff more easily provide individualized postpartum and discharge education
  • Reinforces Baby-Friendly guidelines
  • Promotes breastfeeding duration
  • Uses family-friendly, accessible language to explain infant behavior
  • Provides research tools (and literature search) for evaluation of HUG Your Baby in your hospital
  • Likely to increase patient education,  HCAHPS scores, and reimbursement to hospital.

Designated as “Evidence-Based” by Healthy Start EPIC  Center. 

Components of HUG Your Baby for your Hospital (Choose one or all of The HUG training and resources):

Training for STAFF

  • Basic training for birth and early parenting professionals: Two-hour digital course combines information from HUG’s Helping Parents Understand their Newborn and the Roadmap to Breastfeeding Success online courses.  Designed specifically for a hospital or birth centers’ midwives, maternity nurses, childbirth educators, and lactation consultants. Birth, Breastfeeding & Beyond: Boosting Parent Confidence, Knowledge and Breastfeeding Duration in a Birth Facility offers:
    • Evidence-based course enhances the ability of birth professionals to help parents understand infant behavior; to prevent and solve problems around baby’s crying and sleeping; to promote breastfeeding duration; and to learn how upcoming child development will impact the breastfeeding experience
    • 2 CERPS or 2 Contact Hours credit
    • Click Birth, Breastfeeding and Beyond Outline of course


  • Certified HUG Teacher (CHT) training for staff who teach childbirth and breastfeeding education, and new parenting classes
    • Complete HUG Strategies digital course
      • two-hour course offers effective strategies to enhance communication with today’s young families
      • 2 CERPS or 2 Contact Hours credit
    •  Complete CHT documentation of parent teaching
      • approved for 6 Contact Hours credit
  • Hospital HUG Trainers (HHT) for clinical leaders wishing to champion the HUG program and provide program sustainability
    • Complete Certified HUG Teacher training
    • Attend 3-day HUG Your Baby Trainer Training
    • Obtain resources to promote and support HUG Your Baby in the hospital setting

Education for PARENTS

  • 20-minute parent education video can be uploaded to your hospital’s newborn channel or to patients’ tablets


  • HUG Your Baby and You! handout to help parents reflect on information seen in parent video in order to receive personalized teaching based on questions about THEIR newborn

  • Roadmap to Breastfeeding Success handout helps mothers at discharge anticipate how upcoming changes in baby’s development may impact their breastfeeding experience (birth to one year)

  • HUG E-Newsletters Series
    • Parents may register for this series at discharge
    • Continues information and video links about breastfeeding, and baby’s growth and development, over the next year
    • Newsletters arrive weekly for 12 weeks, then monthly until one year
    • Distributed by Constant Contact, a HIPPA-Certified newsletter distribution company
    • Click HERE to see sample E-Newsletter (for 2-week-old)
    • Click HERE to see sample E-Newsletter (for 4-month-old)

Research Results of Using HUG Your Baby (See bibliography below):

  • NICU fathers increased their knowledge of infant behavior.1
  • Postpartum mothers in a SCN (Special Care Nursery) demonstrated decreased maternal stress and increased maternal confidence.2
  • Student nurses increased their ability and confidence to: recognize infant behaviors, interpret those behaviors, and teach parents to respond appropriately to their infant.3
  • Childbirth educators, doulas and nurses reported that a HUG digital course offered important tools and strategies for teaching parents about newborn behavior.4
  • Breastfeeding peer counselors taking a HUG digital course demonstrated increased knowledge of how child development impacts breastfeeding, expressed a stronger intention to teach parents about normal child behavior, and reported greater confidence to do so.5

Other research on value of teaching about infant behavior (See bibliography below):

  • Teaching “Responsive Parenting”–the ability to read and respond appropriately to a baby’s body language and behaviors–reduces the BMI of children at one and three years old.6
  • Misinterpreting a baby’s normal behaviors, or viewing a baby as “not satisfied,” causes women to add formula, begin solids prematurely, or abandon breastfeeding altogether.7
  • Effective breastfeeding interventions are associated with increased breastfeeding rates.8
  • Teaching about newborn behavior and helping parents see the capabilities of infant increases mother-child interaction, parent confidence, and involvement of fathers.9
  • Video is an effective, efficient way to convey both patient education and continuing professional education content.10
  • Greater patient satisfaction is tied to hospital’s reimbursement and contributes to future use of that hospital’s services.11


Because organizations vary in their financial resources, their educational goals, and the number of patients served, contact Jan Tedder at to plan a program to meet YOUR hospital’s specific needs.


1Kadivar, M., Mozafarinia, M. (2013). Supporting fathers in a NICU: Effects of the HUG Your Baby program on father’s understanding of preterm infant behavior. Journal of Perinatal Education 22(2): 113-119.
2Hunter, L., Blake, S., Simmons, C. & Derouin, A. (2018). Implementing a parent education program in the Special Care Nursery. Journal of Pediatric Health Care XX, 1-7.
3Alden, K. (2018). A Web-based Module to Enhance BSN Students’ Knowledge and Confidence in Teaching Parents about Newborn Behavior. Journal of Perinatal Education 27(2), 104-114.
4Tedder, J. (2012). Teaching for Birth and Beyond: Online program incorporated into a birthing and parenting certification. International Journal of Childbirth Education 27(3): 65-68.
5Tedder, J. & Quintana, E. (2108). Online education for WIC professionals: Teaching child development to extend breastfeeding duration. Clinical Lactation 9(3), 108-118.
6Brown, A. & Arnott, B. (2014). Breastfeeding Duration and Early Parenting Behaviour: The Importance of an Infant-Led, Responsive Style. PLoS One 9(2),e83893.
7Li, R., Fein, S., Chen, J., Grummer-Strawn, L. (2008). Why mothers stop breastfeeding: Mothers’ self-reported reasons for stopping during the first year. Pediatrics 122:S69-76.]
8Patnode, C., Henninger, M., Senger, C., Perdue, L. & Whitlock, E. (2016). Interventions to support breastfeeding: Updated evidence report and systematic review for the US Preventive Services Task Force. Journal of American Medical Association. 316(16):1694-1705.
9Nugent, K., Keefer, C., Minear, S., Johnson, L. (2007). Understanding newborn behavior and early relationships: The Newborn Behavioral Observation System Handbook. Baltimore: Paul H Brookes Pub Co.
10Koch, L. F. (2014). The nursing educator’s role in e-learning: A literature review. Nurse Education Today, 34(2014), 1382–1387.
11Wagner, D. & Washington,C. (2015). Patient education with postpartum teaching methods. Journal of Perinatal Education, 25(2), 129–136.