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

The Sky is the Limit: Breastfeeding a Vent-Dependent NICU baby

While on three-day hospital bed rest with PPROM, I researched what was required to create a breast milk supply under these circumstances: our son was going to be an extremely low birth weight, premature, and sick baby. He would be separated from me at birth, untouchable for days, possibly weeks. I read that pumping within […]

NICU Heroes Award Recognizes Great Acts of Compassion

My husband and I were taken by surprise when our daughter was born early and gasping for breath. They whisked her quickly away to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, a place I had never fathomed we would be.  This was the very place where our daughter received the surfactant for her lungs and where nurses helped us […]

NICU Moms Benefit from More Breastfeeding Support

August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month. It may seem odd to some that we need a designated month to promote something as natural as breastfeeding. But the truth is, breastfeeding is not always easy nor does it always feel natural. From low milk supply to engorgement, plugged ducts and mastitis, new moms can face many challenges […]

{Professional Insight} Growing Babies At Home

Since working with parents in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for more than 15 years (can I really be that old?) it seems every parent enters the NICU certain of one thing—their baby needs to grow to go home.  We dietitians become pretty obsessed with our calorie counting and celebration of each gram of […]

Changing the Definition of “Nursing” Your Preemie

She arrived by emergency c-section at 25 weeks. I saw her for the first time several hours later blanketed in a tangle of tubes and wires inside a plastic box. There were no tender moments. There was no mind speak between us. Just the voice in my head screaming, Run! There was no baby on my chest. Just an industrial powered machine delivered to my bedside with the instructions, Put a suction cup over each breast and let the machine pull out the milk. Or not. The machine could not do the work of my baby. My mind and body refused to cooperate, to let go, to let down. [Read more]