Parents connect with their NICU babies through live stream technology
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Parents who are navigating time away from their NICU babies can connect with them from any location, with the help of live stream technology found at a Madison hospital.
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital uses AngelEye cameras, which allow families to see their newborns when they cannot be at the hospital. The hospital said cameras are turned on with the family’s permission, and parents can interact with them using a smartphone app.
Kirsten Steinke said she uses the tool almost every day. Steinke, a first-time mom, gave birth to Morgan three months early.
“We call her ‘Mighty Morgan’ because she came out at 2 pounds 8 ounces,” she said.
During the day, Steinke sees the progress Morgan is making for herself. But at night, Steinke said she goes home to “keep some semblance of normal,” and to take care of her mental health.
“It tears your heart a little bit to leave her in the NICU but to not feel so torn because at any moment you can flip your phone on and see her and have her be part of your life,” Steinke said.
Cheryl Ordens, a registered nurse at the NICU, said the technology can reduce the stress parents may feel about leaving the hospital. She also said moms can see added benefits when they view the live stream while pumping, like increased milk supply.
“Mighty Morgan” is expected to stay at the hospital for several more weeks. To check up on her, Steinke said she expects to use the app multiple times a day.
“It’s like bringing the reality home because otherwise the reality wouldn’t be in our home, and that’s super important to us,” she said.
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