November marks Prematurity Awareness Month, an opportunity to reflect on the approximately 1 in 10 babies born preterm each year and what we can do to prevent it. This year, Hand to Hold is marking the occasion with our #TeenyPreemie campaign, an opportunity for families to share their story and fundraise to help us further our mission of ensuring every NICU family has a hand to hold in the NICU and in the days, weeks, months and years after.
Common causes of preterm birth include multiple pregnancies, infections and chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure; however, often no cause is identified. Even when a parent does everything “right,” premature birth can still happen. There could also be a genetic influence.
Until you had a preemie yourself or knew someone who did, you may not have even been aware of Prematurity Awareness Month, a month to raise awareness of preterm birth and the concerns of preterm babies and their families worldwide. Here are just a few ways you can help spread this important message.
Start a #TeenyPreemie fundraiser
Mothers of preterm babies are 40% more likely to develop postpartum depression (PPD) and are at risk for long-lasting mental health challenges. Start your #TeenyPreemie fundraiser to help tell your story, raise awareness of prematurity and the long-lasting effects on children and families, and help ensure every NICU family has a trusted Hand to Hold through their NICU journey and beyond.
Share your story
Sharing our stories is an important part of raising awareness about the struggles preemie parents face and in helping others feel less alone. Here are just a few ways you can share your story:
- Download the Hand to Hold app and join our online community. Available in both the Apple Store and Google Play.
- Fill out our Family Stories form, and your responses may be used in future blog posts, social media posts or campaigns!
- Share your photos and story on social media using the hashtag #TeenyPreemie. Don’t forget to tag us!
Some ideas for sharing your story:
- Share before and after photos!
- Share your preemie holding (or next to) something that was the same size or weight they were at birth
- Fill out our Family Stories form and/or use the questions as inspiration for your own post.
- Don’t forget to tag us!
Become a Peer Mentor
Are you a former NICU parent who wants to help families in need of emotional support? In our award-winning Peer Mentor program, we match NICU graduate parents with families in need of emotional support before, during, and after a NICU stay or the loss of a baby. Mentors are given the tools and training they need to be confident to support families in their journey.
For support in the NICU and beyond, download the Hand to Hold app and join our community, a safe and inviting environment to connect with Hand to Hold Family Support Specialists and other NICU parents to find support whenever and wherever you need it. Learn more.