Bonding without Boundaries
Rachel Little desperately wanted to visit her newborn daughter, but her own recovery from the cesarean birth confined her to a hospital bed during this crucial time of bonding, and the baby could not yet be released from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Fortunately, a new iPad® initiative in the Maxine Dunitz Children’s Health Center at Cedars-Sinai offers a solution, and Rachel was among the first to use it.
Called BabyTime, the program uses the iPad’s FaceTime video networking technology to connect mothers with their newborns soon after delivery—even when parent and child are hospitalized on different floors. As soon as the baby is admitted to the NICU, an iPad is set up beside the infant’s incubator. A second iPad is brought to the new mother, who can log on to BabyTime twice a day to see her child.
“The BabyTime program reduces fear and stress in the new moms, as they are able to see their babies and also communicate with the doctors and nurses,” says NICU nurse manager Selma Braziel.
“Even though I couldn’t hold her,” recalls Rachel, “she stopped crying when she heard me talk to her.” In turn, the new mother was comforted by being able to hear physicians in the NICU explain the infant’s condition. “While it’s not the same as being able to hold your baby, it was almost as good,” she says. A day later, her daughter was released from the NICU, and Rachel could hold her baby at last.