'Cuddlers' help keep babies born addicted to heroin alive

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Anderson Hospital 'Cuddlers' Crucial for Babies Born Addicted to Heroin

Cuddling babies is an experience that many love. But for some babies, cuddling could mean life or death.

Babies born addicted to heroin are some of the most vulnerable newborns. And cuddling is an important treatment for them as they withdraw from heroin.

SEE ALSO: The 6 stats you need to know to understand America's heroin epidemic

At Mercy Health - Anderson Hospital several volunteers have the title of "cuddlers" and spend time comforting and snuggling with the small babies.

"They come into this world at a big disadvantage and I just want to help them out," volunteer Ted Rohling told WLWT.

"They don't have the nervous systems yet to settle themselves," added volunteer Donna Mullins. "And sometimes the only time they sleep is when they are in someone's arms and you can rock them."

Both Rohling and Mullins have been volunteers for several years.

The "cuddlers" are crucial for the babies' survival the hospital's manager Carmen Bowling said.

"If the mom has been a drug user for a long time, the babies require almost 24-hour holding because they are inconsolable," Bowling said.

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