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New maternity initiative: 'Live from West Herts Neonatal unit'

Posted: 21 July 2017
Jodi-Ann Gayle, Job

Midwives at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust launched a new initiative early this month called ‘iSeeU’ – this is a video link which allows new mothers in the delivery suite to stay connected to their baby in the neonatal unit.

iSeeU uses a tablet to create a video link between a mother and her baby so that those precious first few hours are not missed and mothers have a chance to be involved in their baby’s care.

Picture of a lady in a hospital bed talking looking at a tablet computer screenDr Gloria Rowland, Associate Director of Midwifery at West Hertfordshire Hospitals, said: “We implemented iSeeU following feedback from women who have been unable to visit the neonatal unit in the first few hours following their baby’s birth. They told us that being able to see their babies in the neonatal unit would lessen their anxiety.

“This is expected to make a huge impact on their recovery and have a very positive impact on early relationship building and infant bonding. It is a well-documented fact that early bonding decreases levels of anxiety for mother and baby and can improve breastfeeding rates. I would like to thank Michelle East, our IT Lead Midwife for leading this important concept.”

One new mother who has used iSeeU said: “This has been a very emotional experience for me. My baby had to be moved to the neonatal unit but with the live screen, I was able to see him and be involved in his care as I could speak with the nurse and get updates.”

The initiative has involved the midwives and neonatal nurses working together to provide this service to women who are in the high dependency unit and cannot move around following the birth of their baby. iSeeU has been well received by new mothers and will improve services for women who choose to have a baby at Watford Hospital.

While the midwives at West Hertfordshire Hospitals acknowledge that nothing can replace physically being with a newborn baby, they believe this is the next best thing and will help bridge the gap until the mother and baby are reunited.

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For more information about our hospitals, visit www.westhertshospitals.nhs.uk. You can also join our near 5,324 followers on Twitter (twitter.com/westhertsNHS) or find us on Facebook (facebook.com/westhertsNHS).

  1. For more information, please contact Jodi-Ann Gayle, Communications Officer in the Trust’s communications department on telephone: 01923 436 280 or email: communications@whht.nhs.uk. Out of hours, please call 07900 228 031.
  2. West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust is a large acute trust serving people from across Hertfordshire, north London and further afield. It operates from three sites at Watford, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead hospitals and sees about 600,000 patients a year. We are one of the largest employers locally, with around 4,500 staff and volunteers.