No woman who’s just given birth can fathom being separated from her baby. Nonetheless, each year 10 to 15 percent of babies born in the United States (about half a million) end up in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for reasons including prematurity, birth defects, breathing irregularities, heart defects and infections, among others.
Fortunately, there’s a solution to help moms stay connected with their babies: The Babytime Tablet. The device was “developed for moms whose babies are taken to a different hospital or are in the NICU of the hospital where they were born,” explains Tracy Buder, clinical director of Labor and Delivery at ProMedica Toledo Hospital. It’s particularly important for those moms who are unable to visit their babies, such as those who are on bed rest.
The tablet’s technology is “based off a video conferencing platform using Lync over a secure internet,” Buder says. “We’ve been working on this for two years and launched in it September 2015. We are confident that the right systems are in place to assure confidentiality and accuracy.”
Today, all ProMedica’s regional hospitals throughout northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan are connected so that if a mom is at one hospital and her baby is taken to another, she can watch her baby getting a bath, receive updates from the nurses and ask questions. By the way, dads are welcome to be with their significant other during Babytime Tablet time, too.
“You can imagine the anxiety that comes from not being with your baby. This allows moms to connect and interact. It’s been wonderful.”
Buder says the feedback from moms has been fantastic. “We can see the joy on the mom’s face when she watches her baby’s first bath, for example. You can imagine the anxiety that comes from not being with your baby. This allows moms to connect and interact. It’s been wonderful for so many reasons,” she says.
Buder says ProMedica’s hospitals are among few in the nation currently using the tablet. “We’re very glad to be able to offer this to our patients and will continue to do whatever we can to help moms stay connected to their babies should separation be necessary.”
See how the Babytime Tablet works in the video below.
Learn more about NICU services at ProMedica Toledo Children’s Hospital.