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

Caring for Your Mental Health During a High-Risk Pregnancy and on Bed Rest

by Dawn K. Gibson, LCSW In our society, being pregnant is seen as a joyous event, something to celebrate, not something to endure. However, once a woman learns that her health and/or her baby’s health is in danger and she is placed on bed rest, her entire pregnancy and outlook changes. Although mothers know being […]

Loving My Scars: A Former Preemie’s Story

by Kaylee Gort “How did you get that scar?” a curious child asks. She is referring to the “V” shaped scar on the right side of my stomach, just above my hips. While others have commented that the scar is “weird,” I have never found shame in it. “Are you talking about this one?” I […]

Feeding Difficulties & Your Preemie

by Anne Boon, MS, CCC-SLP After being intubated with a breathing tube for so many months Bryce’s ‘suck muscles’ were weak and trying to feed from the bottle took so much energy that he would tire out before filling his belly. We supplemented tube feedings by way of an NG tube for weeks while trying […]

When I Knew I Was A Father

A reflection on a dad’s experience in the NICU, and the moment he realized that he was truly a father. [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]