New mothers are often separated from their children after birth for a number of reasons such as complications, a premature birth, or a need for post surgical recovery. Certainly this time apart is difficult for the mother, having worked so hard to bring a child into the world.
To help bring the two a little closer, at least virtually, Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles is now using iPads in the neonatal intensive care unit for video teleconferencing between mothers and children. The new program, called BabyTime, also offers a new mother the ability to speak with the clinicians taking care of her baby, certainly a welcome feature especially when things are not going as great as would be hoped.
As soon as the baby is admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, an iPad is set up next to the infant’s incubator. A second iPad is delivered to the new mother, who can log onto BabyTime twice a day.
“The BabyTime program will reduce fear and stress in the new moms as they are able to see their babies and also communicate with the doctors and nurses,” said Selma Braziel, nurse manager for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
“BabyTime is an excellent marriage of healthcare and technology, allowing us to securely use new technology to keep our patients more informed and more comfortable during their stay,” said Darren Dworkin, senior vice president and chief information officer at Cedars-Sinai.
Rachel Little was one of the first mothers to employ BabyTime. After her daughter was born in mid-February by C-section, Little was unable to make her way to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where her infant was being treated. Little was eager to see her baby and hear about her condition.
“Even though I couldn’t hold her, she stopped crying when she heard me talk to her,” Little said.
In turn, Little herself was comforted by being able to hear the physician explain the infant’s condition. “While it’s not the same as being able to hold your baby, it was almost as good,” Little said.
More from Cedars-Sinai: iPads help new moms bond with their infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit