Hospital using iPads to help mothers bond with newborns

A California hospital is using technology to help new mothers bond with their newborns- even when they must be separated and on different floors of the hospital.

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LOS ANGELES, California (NBC) — All a new mother wants to do is stare at her baby for hours.

But sometimes mom and baby must be separated, like when a newborn needs extra medical attention in the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit.
“Mothers who carry their babies for a length of time, 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.
Nurse Kidder saw how separation caused anxiety in mothers stuck in recovery on one floor while their babies were being treated on another, and thought of an idea.
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 gaze at her daughter in real time and get answers to her many questions.
Nurses have now 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.
The nurses notices 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 new mother Tana Navarro.
It’s calming for mom as well, and makes her recovery a little smoother so she can go from talking to her baby in real time, to holding her in real life.

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