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

When Breastfeeding Fails

I had never, ever thought about breastfeeding and really wanted no part of it.  I was okay with formula feeding since I had seen my niece and nephew thrive just fine on formula feeds. As I learned that I was having twins and that they were probably going to be arriving earlier than 40 weeks, I […]

What to Read or Watch While Pumping and Nursing

My preemie, Theo, never latched, so I exclusively pumped for over sixteen months, ending only because my supply stopped. During that time I logged many hours (many of them in the middle of the night) with my Kindle, devouring books and binge-watching TV shows. I’m a librarian by trade and it is my job to offer […]

Thanking My Husband on Father’s Day: Showing Love in the NICU

My husband was not new to being a dad when our preemie was born 3 months before her due date. In fact, as our third child and third daughter at that, he felt experienced and confident as we looked forward to her birth. That changed when we found ourselves looking at her through the barrier […]

Packing the Pump Away

For the last sixteen months I have been in a love-hate relationship with my breast pump, often logging more hours with it than my husband. Six months ago I could produce five ounces of breastmilk in the time it took me to watch an episode of the Mindy Project at 2.a.m. Now I barely squeeze an ounce and half from my sad, tired breasts. On a good day I might make three ounces, only to have my son, Theo, dump it out or drink two sips before rejecting it for apple juice or even water.

Yet I keep pumping. [Read more]

Sleep Awareness for Preemie Parents

It’s a huge relief to finally have your baby home from the NICU, but there can be anxiety leaving the dedicated staff and reliable monitors behind. If you are arriving home without equipment, it can be extremely frightening to allow your baby to sleep without standing there staring right at him/her. Our first night home, I decided that I would just never sleep again. Period. Eventually my body gave out and after a few nights of trying, I realized that my baby was doing just fine without me. For the record, the NICU follows specific standards set by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to ensure that your baby is capable of sleeping/breathing consistently before they are discharged. [Read more]