Parenting a baby in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and founding a nonprofit have much in common. Both require a strong faith, sheer determination and a community of support. And just as I marvel at the tremendous obstacles my micropreemie (now 14 years old) has overcome, I am humbled by the impact Hand to Hold has had in the lives of tens of thousands of NICU and bereaved families across the country since its founding five years ago.
Thousands of parents receive support through our national Helping Hand, peer-to-peer support program and online support forum, Life after NICU. Thousands of families join us monthly for our NICU 101 Facebook chats with healthcare professionals, and thousands more follow our parent blog, PreemieBabies101. Hospitals across the country utilize our NICU Resource Library to foster communication and education opportunities with NICU families, and Hand to Hold’s special resources for NICU siblings help children understand why their baby brother or sister must stay in the hospital. [Continue reading]