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Crib Webcams Connect Families with Newborns in Texas Health Fort Worth NICU

Crib Webcams Connect Families with Newborns in Texas Health Fort Worth NICU

  May 21, 2014

FORT WORTH, Texas — Courtney Saunders didn’t plan on giving birth in Fort Worth. But when her labor started at 30 weeks gestation, she was sent by air ambulance from her local hospital near Abilene, Texas, to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth.

Crib Webcams Connect Families with Newborns in Texas Health Fort Worth NICU
Peek-a-Boo cameras are hosted through a secure website that requires a special password for each family.
Click photo to download hi-res image

The hospital’s high-risk obstetrics care team and level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) with board-certified neonatologists on the medical staff and specially trained nurses were prepared to care for Saunders and her premature infant. Baby Lillian was delivered safely on April 13 and spent the following weeks in the NICU growing bigger and learning to eat. Saunders and her husband, both working parents, make the 2 1/2-hour commute from Abilene to see Lillian when they can.

Being away from Lillian is tough, Saunders said, but a new web cam service allows her and the family to view real-time video of Lillian 24 hours per day on a smartphone, computer or tablet.

“Even though I can’t be here all the time, I can look on her any time I want. That has greatly reduced my anxiety,” Saunders said. “It’s also a great way for her grandparents to check in on her.”

Peek-a-Boo cameras are hosted through a secure website that requires a special password for each family. Parents can share access with other family members and friends as they wish. The parents’ login provides one-way audio so newborns can hear mom or dad's voice. Cameras are mounted in a protected casing that swings above the crib and gives the parents a wide view of the baby, even in the dark.

“Every family wishes to be close to their newborn baby,” said Lindsey Canon, nurse manager of the NICU at Texas Health Fort Worth. “When babies need extra special care and spend weeks in the NICU unexpectedly, parents may feel stress, guilt and anxiety because they can’t always be nearby. Giving parents the ability to see baby at any time can help bring peace of mind and alleviate some of those feelings.”

New moms who need to pump breast milk can also benefit from seeing the video of their newborns, said Becky Law, manager of lactation and childbirth education.

“Several moms have told us that milk production is stimulated when they view the real-time footage of her infant moving around,” Law said. “This can be very helpful for those who have babies in the NICU that are not able to breastfeed yet.”

The service is offered free of charge to provide the best possible experience for patients and their families.

“It's so hard to be away from our angel during the week, and the Peek-a-Boo web cam service certainly makes it a little more bearable for us not being there in person,” said Penny Ellis, Lillian’s grandmother. “From the doctors to the nurses and all the staff that work there, I want to share my utmost thanks for making this tough situation such a blessing!”

For more information on the Peek-a-boo web cams, visit TexasHealth.org/cribcam.

About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth is 726-bed, Magnet-designated regional referral center that has served the residents of Tarrant County since 1930. The hospital’s services include cardiovascular services, high-risk and routine obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics and sports medicine, neonatal intensive care, and trauma/emergency medicine. Texas Health Fort Worth is also home to the 100-bed Texas Health Harris Methodist Heart Center. An affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, Texas Health Fort Worth has more than 4,000 employees, 200 volunteers and nearly 1,000 physicians practicing on the medical staff. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org/FortWorth.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the United States. The health system includes 24 acute care and short-stay hospitals that are owned, operated, joint-ventured or affiliated with Texas Health Resources. It includes the Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial and Texas Health Harris Methodist hospitals, a large physician group, outpatient facilities, and home health, preventive and fitness services, and an organization for medical research and education.

For more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.