I love January! It is my favorite month. A fresh start to a new year. A new calendar with empty boxes and no tattered pages. My husband will argue that I love January because I enjoy celebrating my birthday – and that may be true – even in my 40’s. But the real reason has more to do with the opportunity to set new goals and ponder the possibilities.
This year promises to be an exciting year for Hand to Hold, and I can’t wait to get started! Three initiatives you will be hearing more about:
- Hand to Hold will soon unveil our new online NICU Resource Library, February 14, to provide NICUs smart, educational content to help the families in their care. Designed to complement and extend the support and education hospitals provide families during a NICU stay, Hand to Hold’s NICU Resource Library will house an extensive list of educational materials in English and Spanish covering topics of importance to NICU families, from antepartum to bonding with your medically fragile child to discharge planning and bereavement.
- We also be launched our For the Love of Babies campaign, January 20, which invites NICU families to tell their story to help us extend our online family education program and NICU Resource Library.
- And lastly, we will be launching our first Facebook Chat next month with an invited expert in response to feedback families have given us online. Families have told us they need support online and on their terms, and that’s what our mission is all about! (Connect with Hand to Hold on Facebook if you haven’t already.)
Parents are a baby’s primary caregivers. If they are given the support, resources and information they need, they will be able to capitalize on the quality care their child has received in the NICU and ensure the best possible outcome for their baby and their family.
Support cannot come soon enough, according to two studies published in the British Medical Journal and presented at a briefing in London last month. The number of children and adults with disabilities caused by premature birth will rise in coming years, likely increasing demand for health, educational and social services. The researchers suggest that as the number of extremely preterm babies who survive and are able to go home from the hospital continues to rise, individuals, families and communities will face new challenges and will need support networks. These recommendations hold true for children born late-preterm as well as evidenced by the National Perinatal Association’s recent publication of Multidisciplinary Guidelines for Care of Late Preterm Infants.
Hand to Hold is well poised to provide the support, information and ongoing education NICU families need as they care for their medically fragile child.
Thank you for believing in and supporting the mission of Hand to Hold. Together we are truly making a difference in the lives of NICU families across the country.