AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - New mothers in the NICU (Neonatal intensive care unit) at Northwest Texas and BSA Hospitals are now able to utilize tablets tailored to them so they can connect with staff, family and others virtually.
Today, March of Dimes donated five iPad-like tablets to each of the hospitals.
They include seven unique online applications designed for new mothers to find comfort and support, especially during a pandemic.
“Through technology they are linked to websites that inform and engage, but we have made it easy for them by uploading the applications that March of Dimes can provide for healthy moms and strong babies,” said Lisa Dillard, director for maternal infant health with March of Dimes, serving West Texas.
The two most important features the organization points out is the My NICU Baby App and Walk of Remembrance App because those are the apps mostly used by mothers.
The My NICU Baby App provides mothers with the latest information and helpful resources to improve a family’s experience during and after their baby’s NICU stay.
It is also available in Spanish.
“Unfortunately, we do have moms that are on bed rest and here for extended periods of time and if they don’t have any way to connect with the outside world and their family can’t come in, this gives them the capability to be able to connect. We do hear from a lot of our moms and dads at the NICU that they really feel like they don’t know what’s going on and they’re not connected. So, it’s a great benefit for that patient population,” said Patti Thompson, chief nursing officer for NWTH.
The Wall of Remembrance App offers those who have experienced the loss of a baby a space to leave a message as a tribute.
“One that we would encourage moms to utilize would be the Facebook application. As well we’ve got a News Moms Need which is a popular blog that moms across the nation can access through this online support. We have a special place for unspoken stories, which is a unique place for moms to share their stories that wouldn’t otherwise go public,” said Dillard.
The pandemic has caused hospitals to limit visitors, but the new device will make it easier for mothers to connect with others virtually.
The organization says it will still be useful post pandemic with the growing technology.
“They can use it for Skype or Zoom purposes, they can use it to reach out to members outside of our community, across the nation who are in this app and they can also use it if they need to send a photo with the limited visitation with COVID. If they can’t have a family member who can come up here, these tablets can allow them to share those moments with that family member,” said Jessie Story, marketing for BSA Health System.
Next, March of Dimes plans to distribute tablets to hospitals in Lubbock and Odessa.
The seven applications the tablets hold are: March of Dimes Community Facebook Group, March of Dimes Facebook Mentorship, News Moms Need, UnSpoken Stories, Share Your Story, My NICU Baby App, and Wall of Remembrance.
For more about those features, click here.