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A Career in Cuddling


Cuddling is Evelyn Mandel’s calling.

Mandel, a retired kindergarten teacher, is one of the designated volunteer cuddlers at Abington Hospital – Jefferson Health. Her job is to hold, rock, serenade, and generally supply newborns with a little TLC.

 “Sometimes the babies fail to thrive if they don’t have that cuddling,” says Denise Ellison, CPNP, DNP, program coordinator of Newborn Nursery Services. Snuggling has shown to decrease the babies’ heart rates, blood pressure, and anxiety, and allows them to thrive over the long term.

Mandel says she loves her new “job.”

“I sing to them, I talk to them, I lay them on my chest and pat them—whatever works, but it always works. You couldn’t find something that’s more rewarding than this,” Mandel says.