AUSTIN, Texas, May 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Hand to Hold®, a national nonprofit organization that offers support for NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) parents, unveiled its innovative mobile app. The new app provides interactive and personalization features that allow NICU parents to connect 1:1 with Hand to Hold’s team of Family Support Specialists (Mental Health Peer Support Certified NICU graduate and bereaved parents) to receive critical emotional and mental support. Thanks to Huggies®, all support through the Hand to Hold app is free to NICU parents and available in both English and Spanish.
The Hand to Hold app was created to make support easily accessible, more personalized and more secure for parents and includes:
- Access to 1:1 support from Family Support Specialists (previously only available in hospitals)
- Multiple support groups to cater to different journeys and backgrounds
- Private virtual chat community with certified Family Support Specialists and other NICU Parents
- Access to NICU-related podcasts
- Comprehensive resource library curated to your personal profile
- Virtual webinars
Download now in the Apple App Store or Google Play
One in seven babies born in the U.S. spends time in the NICU1, and NICU parents are at a higher risk for postpartum depression, anxiety disorders and PTSD2. Caring for a medically fragile child following hospital discharge can be an isolating and traumatic as many NICU graduates have complex healthcare needs, feeding issues, developmental delays and learning challenges. The Hand to Hold mobile app provides convenience, compassion and connection to help support NICU parents’ emotional needs during their journey.
“Creating a mobile app is essential to help eliminate barriers to support for all NICU parents,” said Kelli Kelley, Hand to Hold Founder and CEO and NICU parent. “This app will provide access to emotional care for NICU parents regardless of financial means, cultural barriers and other inequalities in the healthcare industry.”
“Huggies is incredibly proud to partner with Hand to Hold to help parents navigate the unknowns of a NICU journey,” said Sarah Inbau, Huggies North America Brand Manager and NICU parent. “Many of us at Huggies have been NICU parents and have experienced the emotional impact of a NICU stay. While no two experiences are the same, the personalized support Hand to Hold offers parents through this new app is transformative and we’re honored to be able to help more parents.”
Huggies has a long legacy of supporting NICU parents, and their babies, having partnered with NICU nurses and NICU parents to create a special line of diapers and wipes for NICU babies. Huggies Little Snugglers Nano Preemie diapers are each hand inspected and made for babies with delicate skin, weighing less than two pounds. Huggies Extra Sensitive baby wipes are uniquely designed to provide extra gentle cleaning for premature and incredibly delicate skin.
The Hand to Hold NICU Community sits on a custom designed, proprietary, hyper-mobile platform that supports both English and Spanish built by On the Dot. The app is free, courtesy of Huggies®, and can be downloaded on Google Play or the Apple App Store by searching “Hand to Hold”.
About Hand to Hold™
Hand to Hold is a national nonprofit 501(c)(3) that provides personalized support before, during and after a NICU stay to help ensure all NICU families thrive. They envision a world where every NICU family has a trusted Hand to Hold through their NICU journey and beyond. To learn more, visit Hand to Hold.org
About Huggies® Brand
For more than 40 years, Huggies has been helping parents provide love, care and reassurance to their babies. From developing innovative, everyday products for babies to partnering with NICU nurses to develop a special diapers and wipes line for the most fragile babies, Huggies is dedicated to helping ensure all babies get the care they need to thrive. Huggies is proud to be the founding sponsor of the National Diaper Bank Network, a nationwide nonprofit dedicated to eliminating diaper need in America since 2011. Huggies is also the national sponsor of nonprofit Hand to Hold, which provides personalized support before, during and after NICU stays and infant loss. For more information on product offerings or our community efforts, please visit Huggies.com.
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1 March of Dimes (2010). Special Care nursery admissions. National Perinatal Information System/Quality Analytic Services; Special Care Nursery Admissions
2 Shaw and Horwitz (2021). Treatment of Psychological Distress in Parents of Premature Infants, PTSD in the NICU. American Psychiatric Association Publishing.