The stress level for mothers whose babies are unfortunately taken into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) after birth is already high. It can be compounded however by the fact that the mothers themselves may not be physically well enough to visit their child every day. Luckily for mothers at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, new technology is helping them check up on their babies even if they can’t make the trip.
Cedars Sinai has implemented a new program called BabyTime that allows mothers to communicate with their babies and the nurses in the NICU by using the video chat feature on an iPad.
“BabyTime will help bridge communication with the family and the baby’s medical team and is an excellent use of technology to help new mothers bond with their babies, even when they cannot be physically at their babies’ bedside,” says Charles F. Simmons Jr., MD, chair of the Cedars-Sinai Department of Pediatrics.
An iPad is placed next to the baby in the NICU and another is given to the mother. BabyTime uses the hospital’s secure server to allow the mother to check in with their baby and talk to nurses. The hope is that even though the mom and baby aren’t able to connect physically, they will start to form some sort of bond. It should also help the mothers to worry less — as even if you are being told that your baby is doing fine, there’s something about seeing their sweet little face.
Seeing is believing.