This is a FAQ that deserves an explanation because it is one big difference between The Zaky HUG® and other tools.
The Zaky HUG® was originally invented to provide Zachary with the loving touch and scent of his parents as a way to nurture him when they were not in the NICU, and to prevent his association of touch and pain that grows into a life of isolation.
The Zaky HUG® took over 3.5 years of research and development by a diverse and multi-disciplinary team led by Yamile Jackson (a former NICU mom and PhD in ergonomics and safety engineering). It is backed by clinical evidence and has successfully provided a soothing touch to patients in NICUs, PICUs, CICUs, Rehab, and hospital units that care for babies and small children since 2001.
The Zaky HUG® is not a just a positioner. We are raising the bar to also provide (in one versatile tool) a product that provides family-nurturing and integrated care, the scent and warmth of the parents, a tool to soothe and facilitate sleep by offering a universal weight and size that works with every patient in the NICU and beyond. By being engineered, it streamlines supply chain (inventory, ordering, storage, quality control, training, etc.), and provides an environment that is familiar, predictable, and constant, increasing self-regulation and sleep. It is so easy to use that parents and new staff soon become proficient in their use.
The Zaky HUG® is an award-winning device that is evidence based and a versatile tool that provides in one product what other brands provide in a suite of products (i.e., one product for sidelying, one for prone, one for scent, one for nesting, and each in different sizes. They keep coming up for different products for different uses and by changing what is used with the infants, it disrupts their environment and is difficult for them to self-regulate and fall asleep again.)
The Zaky HUG® calms the patients (and parents by knowing a part of them stays calming the baby) by providing one universal size and weight, easy-to-use, individualized therapeutic positioning, a predictable environment (day after day, regardless of who’s the nurse), the scent and warmth of the parents for bonding and attachment, an adjustable weight for individualized boundaries and containment.
There is evidence that it is a soothing non-pharmacologic pain management aid, trauma-informed care, and facilitates sleep and neuroprotection by being engineered to extend the warm, nurturing, loving touch, and the scent of the parents that nurture the baby when they are not being held.
The materials were very carefully evaluated by a skin expert, with the baby and parents in mind, and to meet or exceed the infection control requirements of hospitals.
Laundry: Every NICU has an established laundry protocol for infection control for clothing of the patients. The Zaky HUG® follows that same laundry protocol of the clothing of the babies. It includes a wash bag to protect the fabric from other items in the load. If parents are allowed to wash clothes at home, they'd love washing The Zaky® too. Wash once a week unless is soiled.
Fabric: The outer fabric is what touches the baby. After testing all materials, micro-fleece was selected because it is:
The inner bag is made of polyester and is what holds the filling and keeps the scent of the parents.
The filling is a type of plastic made in the USA and is FDA approved. It is washable, durable, does not retain moisture, and stays cool under a heating source to prevent burns.
Positioners in the NICU are traditionally made with wipeable and disposable materials but The Zaky HUG® is much more than a positioner.
The Zaky HUG® is NOT available in a wipeable version because the materials that are wipeable are not breathable, are stiffer than fabric so it has reduced malleability and makes it difficult to adjust or select the weight to be placed over the patient. Wipeable materials are heavy, cold to the soul of the parents and to the touch of the infant (so the baby startles when placed on their skin), and do not retain the scent of parents.
Likewise, disposable covers are cold, rough on the thin skin of the preterm, and are not nurturing or ideal for the fragile skin of the baby.
Wipeable and disposable materials are not family centered, and often not appropriate for touching the thin skin that is under rapid development and that needs to breath. Specially the skin of the babies that are born prematurely.
Our philosophy is to only offer products that we would use on ourselves and to keep the family at the center of our products. The Zaky products are evidence-based and provide a nurturing and humane environment for the babies and families and the results last a lifetime.
Babies and families are humans and deserve humane care and to be nurtured with The Zaky®.