BabyTime: NICU Bonding on an iPad

BabyTime: NICU Bonding on an iPad

California’s Cedars-Sinai Hospital is using iPads to help new mums bond with their newborns. The iPad app, BabyTime, allows recovering mothers to log on twice a day, and speak to and see their babies on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) via a secure server.

Up to 30% of new mums who deliver by caesarean section feel unable to move around easily within the first 24 hours after the birth. Unfortunately, this means that many new mums are missing out on quality bonding time with their newborn baby on the NICU. For some mothers, the wait to see their baby can be even longer.

New mothers separated from their babies often report feeling helpless, powerless and isolated after the birth. Experts believe BabyTime will allow new mothers to take a more active role in their baby’s care, even if they are not able to attend the ward in person. It is also hoped that this initiative will allow new mothers to bond with their babies, in spite of the separation.

“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. By using the iPad, the new mother can ask questions to their baby’s medical team, as well as communicating with the newborn baby.

“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.

For the new mums unable to be with their newborns, it is hoped that this initiative will offer reassurance that the baby is well and being looked after. It can be scary for new mothers to be on different wards, unable to see or hold their newborn, and hopefully this app will make that unfortunate event a little easier to bear.

Newborn babies are comforted by familiar sounds, and instantly recognise their mother’s voice. By talking to their baby over BabyTime, new mothers can help to reassure and soothe their babies. Being told your baby is fine, just isn’t the same as seeing it for yourself.

Does your hospital use technology to allow babies and mothers to connect when they can’t be together? Is this something you wish had been available when you had your baby?

Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related.

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