hand to hold nicu parent support


Hand to Hold® provides personalized support before, during and after a NICU stay to help ensure all NICU families thrive.


Hand to Hold® is a national nonprofit 501(c)(3) that provides personalized emotional support, educational resources and community before, during and after a NICU stay. We are boldly removing barriers for all NICU parents to receive emotional support at no cost.

When babies need the specialized medical attention of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), it is emotionally traumatic to the parent and disruptive to traditional parent-baby bonding. NICU parents are more likely to experience postpartum depression, anxiety disorders and PTSD.

Hand to Hold® provides support to parents at no cost to families and all support is designed with the emotional, physical and social needs of the NICU parent. Our caring professional staff team is comprised of NICU graduate and bereaved parents.

Support programs include:

Kelley Family


“I don’t ever want another NICU parent to feel alone like I felt.”

Alone is exactly how Hand to Hold founder Kelli Kelley felt after she delivered her son, Jackson, at 24 weeks, weighing just one pound, eight ounces. Her baby was alone, fighting for his life in the NICU. Her husband was alone, fielding overwhelming information from doctors and nurses. And she was alone in her room, recovering from an emergency C-section and wondering if her baby would survive.

Despite being surrounded by friends and family, Kelli lacked the support she craved – someone to hold her hand through the difficult road of being in the NICU and bringing home a medically-fragile child. It was this need that inspired Kelli to start Hand to Hold and has helped shape our mission and values.

Read Kelli’s NICU Story & Inspiration for Founding Hand to Hold Here

Our Values


We foster safe and caring spaces for healing. We cultivate a community of empathy, honor each unique journey and prioritize peer support.


We recognize the heartache, grief and trauma NICU families experience and meet them where they are with grace and acceptance.


We commit to fairness and impartiality in all that we do. We must be well-informed and inclusive of all perspectives to meet diverse needs with accessible, comprehensive support.


We are trustworthy, honest, reliable, authentic and accountable. We commit to holding ourselves and our partners to the highest of standards.


We are thought leaders and change makers. We embrace vulnerability and engage in courageous conversations.


We are always learning, developing innovative programs and evolving strategies to champion a world where all NICU families thrive.

Hand to Hold is an active member of the National Perinatal Association and its Family Advocacy Network. We are a founding member of the NICU Parent Network and active in the National Coalition for Infant Health. For information on speaking opportunities, visit our newsroom.

Hand to Hold is a nonprofit 501(c)3 parent support organization, and information and resources provided here do not intend to take the place of the relationship between a patient and personal physician.

Partnering Organizations

NICU Support Organization NICU Parent Network
EFCNI logo
FCC taskforce
This page was last modified on Jan 16, 2024 @ 1:43 pm. If you see any information that needs to be updated or corrected, please contact info@handtohold.org.