Dr Johanna Strohm, paediatric surgeon and mother of a preterm born son
In which situations did you use digital camera systems?
That’s easy to answer; every time we couldn’t be with our son in the NICU. We watched him first thing in the mornings, then before driving to the hospital, after having arrived back home from the hospital, between all the bits and pieces of our daily routine, before going to bed and – to be honest- even at night when my husband or I couldn’t sleep. Since my husband had to go back to work two weeks after our son had been born, he also used the camera for short glimpses at work.
Did the video-streaming-service change the length or the frequency of you visits in the NICU, since you could watch your son on-screen?
Definitely not! Admittedly, it was nice and calming for us to check on our baby boy from home every now and then but it certainly does not replace physical contact like touching, stroking, cuddling and smelling your little baby. Going home remained incredibly hard even though we knew we could see him online whenever we wanted. We always double-checked that the camera was switched on and placed in the right position so it would transfer a good picture of our son. It was an additional option to see our son especially if someone wasn’t able to visit him. This can however not be compared to physical presence in the NICU.
Did you share the login details with family members or friends?
No, we haven’t. But I guess that differs from parents to parents. These virtual visits felt like real visits to us so we wanted to stay in some way of control. Close family members did of course visit our son in the NICU and got to know him on a personal level. Additionally, we used the camera to show pictures of our son to family and friends via live-connection.