Anyone who's ever had a newborn sent to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) knows all too well the anxiety that goes along with such an event. For the mother in particular, her strong natural urge to bond with her baby is interrupted and limited by her baby's need for specialized medical attention.
One of the most basic desires for the mother is to be able to reassure her baby that she is not far away. But in NICU, that can be extremely difficult to do. She knows her baby is in a totally foreign surrounding absent of anything to remind her child of his or her mother. Unless the hospital is equipped to house mother and child together there will be a great deal of time in which they are separated. But perhaps technology can help!
Mommy’s Hear™ is a device designed to allow mothers to both see and speak to her baby while in NICU. With technology borrowed from remote access security systems, this device is located right at the baby's incubator so the parents and family members can see their infant from any remote device like a smart phone or iPad. This is especially vital in the case of long-term NICU care as with infants born prematurely, for example.
When the parents can't be at the hospital such as while caring for the baby's siblings, the family can talk to their infant at any time, night or day, via the phone or iPad--much like using Skype or FaceTime. Telling baby "good night," singing a lullaby, or just watching baby awaken in the morning can be so reassuring to newborn and parent alike.
This ability to communicate directly is significant, as recent studies show the introduction of sounds like the mother’s voice reduces cardio-respiratory events common to premature infants. Not only that, but it can aid in the child’s development while promoting bonding when parents can’t be at the hospital. And should a family member be a little "under the weather," they can still see and talk to their baby without risking exposing their newborn to infection.
The developers have made sure that the audio levels for the baby are safe. Not only that, but they claim mother's voice is actually clearer to the baby than if she were standing over the incubator.
Nothing can replace a mother's touch, but maybe this is the next best thing to being there.
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