Helping moms stay connected to their babies

Published 05/12 2013 08:01PM

Updated 05/13 2013 11:48AM

URBANA -- For a mother, being separated from your baby can be a nightmare, especially right after your child is born. So some doctors are helping parents stay connected to their kids even from far away.

A few hours after Amanda Sharma gave birth, doctors discovered little Jaxon's hemoglobin levels were too low. He needed a blood transfusion and had to travel more than two hours away to get it.

"Of course as a mom, I was upset," said Amanda. "You don't want your baby to go anywhere but I knew that obviously he had to get the best care and get the care that he needed."

Since she just had a C-section, Amanda couldn't go. Doctors told her husband, John, to stay behind too.

"He said my place at that time was to be with my wife so that was very reassuring," said John.

They said it was reassuring because Carle doctors came up with a special way to keep parents connected with their little ones. They bring an iPad along when they transport a baby. That way, mom and dad can still see them even if they can't be at the hospital in person.

"When they gave us the option to FaceTime, I was thrilled," said Amanda.

"We were able to see Jaxon via the iPhone," said John. "They had the iPad over here and we had the iPhone over there. It was very comforting."

Carle doctors just started using this technology last month. And it works both ways. They use FaceTime to help diagnose infants before they even get to the hospital.

"Babies can't talk to us," said Dr. Dennis Crouse, director of Carle's department of neonatology. "So a lot of what we do is hands-on visualization of the signs and symptoms so being able to see the child is a big boon in being able to care for them."

That technology helped give the Sharma family peace of mind to help them as they continue along the road to recovery.

"Little by little, he's doing better and taking big strides and improving," said Amanda. "And I'm better as long as I'm here."

Jaxon is still in the NICU at Carle. But he and Amanda are both doing well. Doctors expect he'll be able to go home early this week. 

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