"Opening Our Hearts". First recipient of HUG Your Baby's outreach to American Muslim Professionals

Belinda Motaze, from Waterbury, Conn., USA, completed the introductory HUG Your Baby online course as part of her certification as a Childbirth Educator. She quickly decided that HUG Your Baby would enhance the teaching she offers young families. Belinda became the first recipient of "Opening Our Hearts": HUG Your Baby Scholarships for American Muslim Birth and Parenting Professionals. Today she shares with us her HUG Your Baby training experience. 


I didn't waste a minute debating if I wanted to go on to complete the Certified HUG Teacher program. I was excited and nervous, nervous because I was not sure I "had it in me" to teach The HUG. I'm glad I didn't let these doubts stop me. 

My favorite experience was when I went to visit a three-week-old baby and his parents. They were the first family I visited in order to complete my HUG Certification. 

At the start of our visit the mother explained how difficult it was to understand her baby. The  "guessing games" were "driving her crazy"  as she tried to understand what he wanted. She said she looked forward to "actually talking" to him, so she would know what he wanted.

 I began by showing the mother The HUG DVD while the baby was napping. The mother  was very interested in it, and pleasantly surprised by the information she learned from it. She told me that she felt better knowing babies go through developmental stages; she was feeling that her baby was "broken" because of his increased cries. She was also happy to learn about the SOSs (Signs of Over-Stimulation) because she would now be able to understand those tired signs and know how to calm him.  

I practiced "Broadcasting" her baby's behavior as her baby watched with her eyes as she moved around the room. The young mother was so proud of her baby! She enjoyed telling the people around her how advanced her baby was.

When leaving, the mother told me, "You know, my baby actually DOES talk to me. He has his own language, and I must learn it." It was good to see the confidence this new mother had after watching The HUG DVD and discussing its content with me. She was grateful for The HUG teaching session, and I was grateful that my first HUG visit went well. The mother's response during this visit made me feel happy and confident that I could effectively share The HUG with the families I serve. This experience reassured me that I was doing the right thing by becoming a Certified HUG Teacher.