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

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]

{Professional Insight} The Benefits of Infant Massage

Infant massage cam help parents bond with baby in and out of the NICU. NICU Occupational Therapist Tracey Kondrasuk-Brander gives her tips for successful infant massage. [Read more]

{Professional Insight} Postpartum Depression after a Complicated Delivery

The following post is the second part of a three-part series on PPD and PTSD in NICU parents. Visit part 1 of the series: Postpartum Depression and PTSD in Fathers, and stay tuned for Part 3 in August! We have heard more and more in the news about how common postpartum depression is – affecting about […]