All a new mother wants to do is stare at her baby for hours, marveling at every tiny movement.
But sometimes mom and baby must be separated, like when a newborn needs extra medical attention in the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit.
“Whether they’re born prematurely or if they have post-delivery complications, there’s that gap of 24-48 hours where they can’t see their baby,” said Yvonne Kidder, clinical nurse at Cedars-Sinai.
Problem solved. New mom Tana Navarro communicates with her baby over an iPad from her recovery room. Nurses are on the other end with Tana’s baby, who was born eight weeks early.
Tana can see her daughter in real time and get answers to her many questions.
Nurses at Cedars-Sinai have called this program “Baby Time.”
“It is electronic, but it is so reminiscent of what normal bonding would consist of — all the auditory, all the visual cues,” said Dr. Charles F. Simmons Jr., Chief of Pediatrics at Cedars-Sinai.
It’s not all one-sided. The nurses noticed that the babies were listening and benefited from hearing their mothers voice.
“Their heart rate’s nice and calm. Their breathing is a lot easier,” said Kidder.
“When we saw her respond when we were talking to her through the iPad, it was like she knows it’s us talking to her! So it was great,” said Navarro.
It’s calming for mom as well, and makes her recovery a little smoother until she cal finally hold her baby in real life.
The program could also help families in small communities whose babies are so sick they need to be transported to larger hospitals away from home.