Hand to Hold Launches Virtual Support Services for NICU Families

8 April 2020

AUSTIN, Texas, April 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- A high-risk pregnancy, a complicated birth or a NICU stay can be traumatic and isolating experiences, which are being compounded by the uncertainty and stress of COVID-19. Today, Hand to Hold, a nonprofit organization for NICU families, announced the launch of virtual support groups for NICU families to address this challenge.

Kimberly Clark's Huggies® brand is serving as the national sponsor of the new program, modeled on Hand to Hold's in-person and in-hospital support groups. The virtual services are available free of charge to all families and caregivers of NICU babies.

The virtual support program will provide opportunities for NICU families to connect and share personal experiences and feelings, discuss coping strategies, and find comfort and support during the COVID-19 crisis and the recovery that follows. The virtual support groups will be available via live Zoom conference calls and will be led by certified peer support specialists.

Hand to Hold will offer multiple groups each week in English and Spanish starting on April 7. Parents can register for group's on the organizations website where dates and times are listed.

"NICU families are facing escalating mental health challenges due to virus infection fears, additional financial concerns, limitations on when they can visit their baby in the NICU and being socially isolated from their support system of family and friends," said Kelli Kelley, NICU parent and founder/CEO of Hand to Hold. "Our online support groups are designed to provide NICU families with a virtual 'hand to hold' and emotional support during the COVID-19 crisis."

In light of new stresses related to COVID-19, Hand to Hold will also offer new podcast episodes across their multiple podcast channels for NICU parents and NICU nurses. These COVID-19 podcasts complement other NICU parent and NICU nurse podcasts that are already sponsored by Huggies®.  Podcasts are available across five different channels.

In addition, community and understanding are just a click away with Hand to Hold's private Facebook groups, where NICU parents can ask questions and connect with other families in a safe, supportive environment.

"We are honored to partner with Hand to Hold as they provide this lifeline of virtual care for parents and nurses, especially as their access to support may be limited during the current health crisis," said Rebecca Dunphey, President of Baby and Childcare, Kimberly-Clark North America, "We have Huggies hospital partners and NICUs top of mind right now, and ensuring they have Huggies products and services, like these virtual support groups, available to help care for their tiniest patients is a priority and privilege."

Huggies has a long legacy of supporting NICU parents and their babies, even co-creating Huggies® Little Snugglers® Nano Preemie diapers with NICU nurses, which are designed for infants weighing less than two pounds, to help protect a preemie's delicate skin. Huggies also co-created Huggies® Extra Sensitive baby wipes with NICU nurses that are uniquely designed to provide extra gentle cleaning for premature skin.

Huggies is providing underwriting support for Hand to Hold's virtual support services through 2020 and is committed to raising awareness for the program through social media and the Huggies.com website to help NICU families as part of the brand's #HelpingHugs campaign.

About Hand to Hold

Hand to Hold helps families before, during and after NICU stays and infant loss by providing powerful resources for the whole family, and most importantly, one-on-one mentoring from someone who has been there. To learn more, visit the Hand to Hold website handtohold.org

About the Huggies® Brand

Huggies believes deeply in the Power of Hugs. That's why everything Huggies does is inspired by your hugs. For more than 40 years, Huggies has been helping parents provide love, care and reassurance to their babies. From developing innovative everyday products, to diapers and wipes donations, to growing hospital hugger programs, to partnering with NICU nurses to develop diapers and wipes, Huggies promises to ensure all babies get the care they need to thrive. For more information on Huggies visit the "Why Huggies?" page at Huggies.com.

About Kimberly-Clark

Kimberly-Clark (NYSE: KMB) and its trusted brands are an indispensable part of life for people in more than 175 countries. Fueled by ingenuity, creativity, and an understanding of people's most essential needs, we create products that help individuals experience more of what's important to them. Our portfolio of brands, including Huggies, Kleenex, Scott, Kotex, Cottonelle, Poise, Depend, Andrex, Pull-Ups, GoodNites, Intimus, Neve, Plenitud, Viva and WypAll, hold the No. 1 or No. 2 share position in 80 countries. We use sustainable practices that support a healthy planet, build stronger communities, and ensure our business thrives for decades to come. To keep up with the latest news and to learn more about the company's 148-year history of innovation, visit Kimberly-Clark.com or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.


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SOURCE Kimberly-Clark Corporation