May is Mental Health Awareness Month!
Did you know that 1 in 7 babies will spend time in the NICU?
When babies need the specialized medical attention of a NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), it is emotionally traumatic to the parents and disruptive to traditional parent-baby bonding.
NICU mothers are 40% more likely to experience postpartum depression, anxiety disorders and/or PTSD. NICU fathers are also at risk, with postpartum depression occurring at a rate of 3-10%. More recent studies show that NICU fathers experience increasing stress levels in the 14 days after arriving home from the NICU. Black and Latino families are disproportionately affected by prematurity and NICU stays for various complications. African Americans have at least twice the rate of preterm birth than that of whites, as well as the overall greatest risk of preterm birth. Additionally women of color are less likely to seek or receive support due to negative stigmas surrounding mental health and difficulty accessing services.
This can change, and you can help. It is vital that parents have access to support, resources and information needed to help them cope with the grief, depression and anxiety that often takes hold following a traumatic birth experience.
Hand to Hold® is uniting with supporters across the US to create awareness and raise funds for our organization’s mission, so more NICU parents can receive emotional support at no cost to the families.
Join us during Mental Health Awareness Month for #Miles4MentalHealth by running, walking, crawling, biking or skipping during the month of May to help ensure NICU families receive free emotional support.
Together we can raise awareness, remove stigmas and encourage parents to care for themselves so they can heal, thrive and grow during and after a NICU stay or the loss of an infant.
Set up your #Miles4MentalHealth fundraiser here, tell us why your miles count, and start logging your miles!
View our helpful step-by-step guide to creating your fundraiser and participating in #Miles4MentalHealth!
About Hand to Hold:
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. Hand to Hold is removing barriers for support by growing a hybrid model of in-person and virtual support in service to our mission. Support is provided to parents at no cost to families and all support is designed with the emotional, physical and social needs of the NICU parent. For more information, visit http://www.handtohold.org