Helping Hands Training Program




We’re so grateful that you are interested in becoming a Helping Hand and to let new NICU families know that THEY ARE NOT ALONE.

Having a high-risk pregnancy, a complicated birth, or a NICU stay can be a very isolating experience. While our friends and family want to help – they often don’t know how. Unless you have gone through something like this you it is very difficult to know what to do or say to help.

As a parent who has had a NICU stay or lost a baby you have something incredibly unique and valuable to offer… your experience.

Nothing can compare to the support and strength you can get from talking to another parent who has been there. Your story can offer hope. Peer-to-peer support from a caring and informed parent can help a family feel more capable, confident, and ready to face the journey ahead – because they know that you did it. You are proof that parents can come through this experience stronger, smarter, and as an even better parent!

What Parents Say:

“When our family first arrived at the hospital, we were completely overwhelmed by the NICU experience. I was impressed with our social worker—she gave us valuable advice, checked in on us and really seemed to care. Our doctors and nurses were exceptional. Having said that, though, I found myself in desperate need of someone to talk to that had been in my shoes—my fears, my worries, my hopes. I reached out to Hand to Hold and finally found the mentor I needed. Quite honestly, even though we had a tremendous support network through our neighborhood and church communities, none of that was as valuable, uplifting and lifesaving as the peer-to-peer support my husband and I received through Hand to Hold. I believe wholeheartedly in its mission.” – Kathryn

What Professionals Say:

“I have been practicing Neonatology since 1972 and direct the Premature Infant Development Program since 1999. We have implemented many programs both in the NICU and the clinic to have parental involvement. I have often thought of the profound effect the birth of a preemie has on the parents. I have seen depression and divorce, child abuse and ongoing health issues. The idea of Hand to Hold blew me away. It is so thoughtful, necessary and urgent to have this  available to all families…”
Rajam Ramamurthy, MD
Medical Director, Premature infant development PREMIEre program
Rita and William Head Distinguished Professor of Environmental & Developmental Pediatrics
UT Health Science Center-San Antonio

What the Research Says:

Effectiveness of a parent “buddy” program for mothers of very preterm infants in a neonatal intensive care unit.

Preyde M, Ardal F. Effectiveness of a parent “buddy” program for mothers of very preterm infants in a neonatal intensive care unit. Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2003; 168:969–973.