Nothing pulls at my heart strings more than stories of babies in the NICU. And this story did just that.
At Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, mothers who aren’t able to see their babies who were whisked away to the NICU can now see them a little bit sooner. The hospital is using FaceTime, the free, video chat app that iPads, iPhones, and iPod touches have, to connect new moms to their sweet little ones. A lot of the time, these mother’s aren’t able to go and be with their baby’s in the NICU for awhile, or even the baby is sick enough, they have to be held in isolation. On the flipside, sometimes a mother may be too weak or ill after delivery to be with her baby. Using this simple app helps make this hard situation a little easier.
The hospital calls this “BabyTime,” and it has been used with a small group of moms who delivered via C-section, though they have plans to have mothers who had a traditional delivery. In the article, Yvonne Kidder, a nurse at Cedars-Sinai, said that sometimes it can take between 2 and 3 days before a mom can see her baby, and that they want to “cut that down to 2-3 hours.” The hospital now has guidelines that allow for new moms to have access to BabyTime at least once time during a nursing shift, which lasts 12 hours.
My son was healthy when he was born, and I was able to see him about 10 minutes after birth. I can’t even imagine how hard it would be to have had him taken away to the NICU, and not been able to see him for who knows how long. I think it’s wonderful that this hospital is seeing the benefit of using technology to connect moms with their NICU babies, and I hope other hospitals will follow suit. Babies can recognize their mother’s voice right out of the womb, and I imagine that hearing the voice of their mother while in a vulnerable state has got to help in some way!
Another thing I love about this is that it shows that mHealth doesn’t have to be complicated. Sure, there is a lot of mHealth apps and technology out there, and some of it is not-so-user friendly. But I love seeing existing mobile technology, that most know how to use, being used in new and innovative ways.