Staff and Trainers

President of HUG Your Baby

Jan Tedder is a family nurse practitioner and lactation consultant with 40 years’ experience providing lactation and primary care services. She created HUG Your Baby, authored its five online courses and mentored and inspired Certified HUG Teachers and HUG Trainers around the world. Jan was honored as the North Carolina Maternal-Health Nurse of the Year, is a recipient of the World Wide Web Health Award, and is published in a number of peer-review journals.

Vice President of Research and Education

Jim Henderson, PhD, brings skills to HUG Your Baby as a teacher, editor, journalist and administrator with experience in public relations, publishing, education, and fund raising. He earned an undergraduate degree at Gettysburg College, a master’s degree at Columbia University (New York), and a Ph.D. at Duke University. He and Jan have been married for 40 years , raised two amazing sons and know a lot about team work! Jim and Jan met their first grand baby in 2019.

HUG Your Baby Trainers

(in alphabetical order)

Benedetta Costa, PT, CHT founded the Italian Association of Infant Massage (A.I.M.I.) in 1989 to help parents learn the power of infant massage to connect with their newborn. She has worked tirelessly to grow this program to its current 9,000-person membership. Benedetta is a physical therapist with almost 20 years of work with parents and babies in a NICU at the Gaslini Children Hospital in Genoa.  Benedetta presented HUG Your Baby workshops in Italy and Switzerland and distributes the Italian HUG DVD. Contact Benedetta at benecost@gmail.comRead about The HUG in Italy!




Vonda Gates, BS, RN, ICCE, ICD, CHT has been a childbirth educator since 1989 and was one of the first 20 DONA certified birth doulas. Vonda stays busy as an approved childbirth educator and birth doula trainer for the International Childbirth Educators Association (ICEA) and has been recognized as a Mother-friendly Nurse. She is a frequent international conference speaker and enjoyed a number of teaching trips to China. Vonda has special training and passion on the subject of adult learners. She is delighted to be sharing her experiences in teaching adults at the first Evidence Based Birth (EBB) Conference.



Barbara Hotelling, MSN, Woman’s Health Nurse Practitioner, IBCLC, CHT, has worked as a postpartum home visiting nurse, nursing instructor, doula and childbirth educator for decades. She has published in numerous peer-reviewed journals served the birthing community as president of Lamaze and DONA, and as a CIMS site evaluator. She has been honored by Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (2006), Nurses’ Education Funds Scholarship (2005), and Mother-Friendly Nurse Recognition-ANACS (2003). She is currently a clinical instructor at Duke University School of Nursing, where she was named the “Clinical Instructor of the Year” . Contact Barbara at


Elly Krijnen, RN, IBCLC, has decades of experience caring for young families and training nurses, midwives, lactation consultants and kraamverzorgenden (similar to postpartum doulas) in Holland. As a mother of three (now grown and thriving) NICU babies, she is especially attentive to the concerns of families with premature babies. Elly works as a private lactation consultant and is co-owner of “Baby en Borst” (Baby and Breast), a charming store and educational center in Almere. Read about The HUG in Holland.



Camille Smith, MS, Ed.D, CPD, CHT is an educational psychologist who was trained in the Brazelton NBAS exam and its counterpart for premature babies, the APIB. She initially worked with new families and babies transitioning from the NICU to home and then for years at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), where she designed curriculum for interventions with parents. Camille is the co-author of the Essential Package of Health and Developmental Services (EP) – an HIV parenting intervention resource used internationally. She is thrilled to be recently certified as a postpartum doula and looks forward to helping professionals integrate HUG Your Baby into their work. Contact Camille at



Jan Tedder, BSN, FNP, IBCLC developed HUG Your Baby and has worked with young families for decades. She has provided primary care services, offered lactation education and consultations and taught birth and lactation professionals around the world.  Jan has been published in six peer-reviewed journals and has been the recipient of a number of nursing, education and community awards.




Gale Touger, BSN, Family Nurse Practitioner, IBCLC, CHT is the first HUG Your Baby Trainer. She has worked in  primary care for over thirty years. Gale studied at Boston University, Duke University, and UNC-Chapel Hill and was honored as the NC Nurse Practitioner of the Year, received the Barbara Bennett Peer Assistance Award, and is a member of Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society. Gale is certified in Brazelton’s Touchpoints and the Brazelton Center’s CLNBAS teaching exam (now known as the NBO) and integrates The HUG into her work as a lactation consultant. Contact Gale at