58ºF

Moms talk to NICU newborns using Facetime

University Hospital uses iPads to help with bonding process

photo

SAN ANTONIO – When babies are born needing the extra attention of the neonatal intensive care unit, their moms sometimes miss out on those first precious moments.

University Hospital recently started using technology so the mothers don't feel so disconnected.

They can see their babies on an iPad using Facetime.

Mimi Katuala got to hold her newborn girl, Sundilive, for a minute or two before the baby was whisked away to the NICU. Katuala had to be in bed for the first 24 hours of her little girl's life.

When a nurse came in not long after delivery, Katuala thought she needed to sign more paperwork. The "baby chat" was a big surprise. 

"I got super excited, and I was like, 'Oh my God. You just made my day.' That was really nice, and I kept telling her, 'Can I just keep it all day long?'" Katuala said.

The goal is for all NICU moms to see their babies within three hours to start the bonding process.

Dr. Amy Quinn, co-medical director of the NICU at University Hospital, said it's also good for the babies.

"They definitely respond to hearing their mom's voices and with the interaction. You can see sometimes their vitals improve. They definitely calm down," Quinn said.