A video chat with baby

It’s one of the most joyous times in life — the birth of a baby. But sometimes medical reasons can keep mom and baby apart for hours, days or even weeks. That the time when physical and emotional bonds are formed. And while separation can’t always be avoided, University Health System’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is using some popular technology to make it easier on both mother and child. Baby Chat uses iPads and Apple’s FaceTime application to allow the newborns to hear the sound of their mother’s voice, and for moms to see and hear the movement, breathing and faint coos of their newborns from different parts of the hospital, or many miles away when a premature baby has to stay in the NICU for an extended period after mom is discharged. “It’s such a great way to help moms bond with their babies soon after delivery,” said Rachel Rivas, director of newborn services at University Hospital. “The Baby Chat program is fairly new at our hospital, but it is pretty powerful to see how this technology is providing some comfort and ease for both mom and baby.” Kebaluebe Katuala, a first-time mom, delivered her baby on Monday. She had a C-section and is unable to walk to the NICU to visit her baby girl. “The nurses made my day when they brought in the iPad,” said Katuala. “I was tired and feeling a little sad. Then I saw my baby on the iPad and it made me so happy. This technology is so wonderful. What an amazing way to connect moms with their babies.  I love it so much.” The iPads can be held by the mom or the NICU nurse, or attached to rolling stands with special frames.  Photo illustration by Health Focus SA, Mark Greenberg Photography        
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