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

Please Wash Your Hands

When I first arrived at the NICU I was brought to a large sink with a foot pedal for turning the water on.  I was given an individually wrapped scrubber and nail cleaner so that I could wash my hands thoroughly, and told that I needed to wash my hands thoroughly all the way up to my elbows every time I visited the NICU.  This would keep the NICU free of germs and protect the preemie babies from sickness.

I was all for it!  Anything to protect my baby.  After only a few days of doing this my hands and arms were so dried out that I realized I’d better keep lotion on me at all times to protect my skin.  You see, I didn’t just go in and out of the NICU once a day.  I pretty much lived at the NICU for 8-9 hours a day, so I went out for meals, snacks, to meet a friend or family member, make phone calls, or just to take a break and walk through the gift shop or something.  I scrubbed my hands and arms 3 to 5 times a day and boy did it dry me out!  Not only that, but I always regretted the days I wore long sleeves, especially if they were the type that wouldn’t stay rolled up easily.

It’s just one of those things, scrubbing your hands well every time you go in to see your baby.  It’s one piece of the NICU Experience, one piece of the puzzle that portrays your life as the parent of a preemie baby.  Isn’t it amazing how many things you must incorporate into your daily routine when a preemie enters your life?

Hand-washing doesn’t end with the NICU.  When you bring your baby home you continue to wash your hands frequently, just in case, and especially when you get home after leaving the house.  Family, friends, and other visitors will get used to using hand-sanitizer as soon as they enter your home and/or before they can touch your baby.  It’s not being a germ-freak, it’s being smart.  I don’t imagine that anyone who has been too careful has ever regretted it.

Okay, that’s all.  🙂

Afton Mower About Afton Mower

After Mower (UT) lost her firstborn son at 21 weeks.  Her daughter was born a year and a half later at 27 weeks.  The NICU was overwhelming and isolating and it was through those two experiences she was led to found this social hub for parents to find the support they needed. Afton also gave birth to another daughter, born two days overdue after four months of strict bedrest. She believes it is a tender experience to hold a special baby in your arms when his spirit returns to his heavenly home, a miracle to watch tiny babies survive the risks of prematurity and a blessing to hold a healthy full-term baby after months of difficulty and sacrifices.


  1. i agree, and always kept up. I still need to get you my premiee storys!

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