Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

Celebrating Nurses for National Nurses Week

We come across them in almost every single medical office we encounter: our general practitioner, our OBGYN, our kids’ pediatrician, a specialist, and more. Nurses often serve as the first point of contact between patients and doctors, advocating for patients and providing exceptional patient care. May 6 – 12 is National Nurses Week, and to celebrate, […]

Sleep Awareness Week & Preemie Sleep Challenges

The National Sleep Foundation is celebrating its annual Sleep Awareness Week March 6th through March 13th, to raise awareness for the health benefits of sleep and its importance to safety and productivity. If there’s one thing new parents (and parents of preemies) have in common it is lack of sleep. A 2014 study showed that new moms were still sleep deprived after eighteen weeks of giving birth. There are hoards of articles with sleep tips for parents and recommendations for how many hours of sleep babies and toddlers need, but what if they don’t help? [Read more]

The Hug I Had Been Waiting For

When my son was about a week old, a very patient and wise NICU nurse encouraged me to change my son’s diaper for the first time. I will never forget how my hands shook as we maneuvered wires to delicately dab his tiny bottom with a cotton ball. I have no doubt she could have completed the task in less than a minute, but she took the extra ten minutes to help me have that important bonding experience with my son. It was the first time I truly took part in his daily care. And in many ways, it was our first bonding experience. The hug I had been waiting for. [Read more]

How to Pass the Days in the NICU

Some time passes slowly in the NICU; some time flies by. It’s okay to distract yourself during these long days, weeks, or even months. [Read more]

Bonding with Your Medically Fragile Baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

by Dawn K. Gibson, LCSW

When you initially became pregnant, birthing your baby and having him or her whisked away to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) by hospital staff was most likely not in your plan.

Many parents know that bonding after childbirth is important for both parents and baby, and you may have had some ideas about what this meant to you. You might have visualized yourself holding your baby right after the birth, looking into his or her eyes lovingly, or just lying skin-to-skin for a time. No matter what your vision, the reality of birthing a medically fragile infant is typically very different from these images. You may not have been able to hold, let alone touch, your baby right away and you may now be worried that you have lost a major opportunity to bond with your baby. Please know that this is not true. There are many other ways to bond with your baby – even during his or her NICU stay. [Read more]