Cedars-Sinai Hospital has announced a new program called “BabyTime.” The program uses Apple’s iPad to allow new mothers to stay connected to their newborn infants, even if they can’t be physically together after giving birth.
BabyTime, a play on Apple’s FaceTime, leverages the video messaging service to create a remote presence link between a new mother’s room and the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, reportsTUAW.
The program allows moms who are non-ambulatory to “visit” the NICU, where babies are normally taken after a cesarean section is performed or when complications require strict monitoring.
Chair of the Cedars-Sinai Department of Pediatrics and Ruth and Harry Roman Chair in Neonatology Charles F. Simmons Jr., MD said that some 20-30% of mothers who undergo C-sections cannot travel to the NICU during the first 24 to 48 hours after birth. That period of time is considered an important time for mother-child bonding.
One iPad is placed near a baby’s incubator, while another is given to the mother. The video conferencing app allows a allows the parents to see and hear their newborn, even though they are floors away.
Mothers are allowed to access BabyTime twice a day, interacting with their infant and nurses over a secured internet connection.
“BabyTime will help bridge communication with the family and the baby’s medical team and is an excellent use of technology to help new mothers bond with their babies, even when they cannot be physically at their babies’ bedside,” Simmons said. “When doctors and nurses are treating a newborn in the NICU, mom can be right there asking questions and getting updates, even if she’s on a different floor.”