The arrival of a newborn is a significant and special moment for families. However, having a baby admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for days or weeks can be a nerve-wracking experience. It can get even more overwhelming as parents try to manage work schedules and other kids and family needs on top of being with their baby as much as possible in the NICU – especially for babies who can be hospitalized for months at a time.
To ease the worries that many parents feel during their child’s hospitalization, the NICU at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach has introduced a new way for parents and babies to stay connected. NICVIEW®, a wireless, encrypted streaming system, allows parents to view their child from their personal device in real time.
The team at Miller Children’s & Women’s decided to introduce NICVIEW® as a way to maintain family and baby connections. With funding provided by the MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach Foundation, the NICU acquired 70 cameras to help parents and families stay in contact with their baby.
When a baby is admitted to the NICU, parents are given the option of having a NICVIEW® camera installed next to their child’s isolette. Once parents have given permission, they are able to quickly start viewing their baby through a password-protected streaming service.
NICVIEW® allows parents and families to check in on their baby’s progress with 24/7 access and customer support. Parent that may have far commutes from the NICU or children at home, or may be sick and unable to visit the NICU can still feel connected to their child by viewing their baby at any time or location with internet connection.
“There are many advantages to seeing your baby continuously,” says Stephanie Figueroa, RN, clinical operations director, NICU, Miller Children’s & Women’s. For many mothers, being able to see their baby through NICVIEW® has not only helped reduce stress and anxiety, but also has increased bonding and milk production. Mothers are able to form strong attachments to their child and pump milk, which can make the transition from the NICU to home easier for parents and their baby.
Grandparents and siblings that cannot visit the NICU can still meet their new family member using NICVIEW®. With the device, families can feel together every day, at any time. “The families that use this streaming service love it,” says Figueroa. “We’re always trying to keep families connected with their baby — using NICVIEW® was the right choice for this reason.”