For parents who have a baby in the Davis Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Baystate Children’s Hospital, time stands still.
These babies were brought into the world oftentimes much earlier than expected or they are up against odds that no child should ever have to face. Instead of families bringing their newborns home and welcoming loved ones over to meet their newest family member, they often spend days going back and forth between their life obligations and spending time with their baby.
To help ease the pain of not being able to always be with their newborns, cameras began to be added to the NICU bassinettes, allowing parents and families to check in on their babies whenever they would like. Using a unique password, parents can log onto a secure website that takes them directly to the individual camera affixed to their baby’s bassinette – unlocking a real-time visual feed that can be viewed on any device that has access to the Internet.
“Being able to log in and see your child, it provides you with a lot of peace of mind. You can’t put a price tag on that,” shared Tom Avigliano, whose daughter Harriett spent three months in the NICU. He and his wife Aileen lived relatively close, so they were able to check in. However, Aileen shared that her distance did not stop her from checking in any time she could.
“I often called three times a day to check on her, even living just 15 minutes away, so I can’t imagine how it must be for families who live farther away,” she added.
Since Harriett has left the NICU, a lot has changed.
Most of the bassinettes in the NICU and a few beds in the adjoining Continuing Care Nursery are equipped with a camera system, allowing families to check in from wherever they are to share a moment with their babies.
Now, Baystate Health wants to add cameras to the remaining beds so that all families are able to experience this special connection with their baby.
“When I speak with families, they often mention that they are so grateful for the opportunity to see their babies on the camera. Dads like the ability to check on their baby while at work and moms have commented on the comfort that the cameras provide when they wake up in the middle of the night,” shared Stephanie Adam, manager of the Davis Neonatal Intensive Care Unit & Continuing Care Nursery.
“During flu season when sibling visitation is restricted, these cameras help brothers and sisters bond with their new baby. Ideally, every family whether in the NICU or Continuing Care Nursery should have this support while they are going through this challenging journey,” she added.
In celebration of Giving Tuesday this year, Baystate Health Foundation will be accepting donations to purchase more cameras for nurseries at Baystate Children’s Hospital.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for the community to come together to help our new families,” said Scott Berg, vice president of philanthropy at Baystate Health and executive director of Baystate Health Foundation. “These cameras create a positive experience for our families and provide peace of mind to parents who may not be able to be there all of the time.”
Make a gift to help add cameras to every bassinette in our extended-stay nurseries this holiday season.