“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, a peer support network for NICU and bereaved families.


Hand to Hold® helps families before, during, and after a NICU stay and infant loss by providing powerful resources for the whole family, and most importantly, one-on-one mentoring from someone who has been there.


Our resources include virtual support groups, trained peer mentors for one-on-one support, in-hospital programs, podcasts, articles and social communities. All were designed with the emotional, physical and social needs of the whole NICU family – including siblings and grandparents. Our caring professional, experienced team comprised of NICU graduate and bereaved parents are trained as certified Peer Support Specialists through the state of Texas. These Family Support Specialists use their personal and professional experiences to ensure all Hand to Hold programs and services work for our NICU families, at every step in the journey.


Four Cornerstones

Hand to Hold focuses our support, resources, and programs around four central strengths:

Peer Support

From Trained, Supervised NICU Graduate Parents

Whole Family Care

Including Siblings and Grandparents

Psychosocial and Emotional Support

Crucial for Improved Outcomes

NICU and Beyond

Antepartum through Childhood

Hand to Hold is an active member of the National Perinatal Association and its Family Advocacy Network. We are a founding member of the Preemie Parent Alliance 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.

This page was last modified on Dec 15, 2020 @ 2:44 pm. If you see any information that needs to be updated or corrected, please contact info@handtohold.org.