Journal scan

Webcams help most parents bond with premature babies

A study into whether webcams can help with early bonding for parents of premature babies found the majority benefit from the ability to see their baby at any time in neonatal units, though it made some more anxious.

A study into whether webcams can help with early bonding for parents of premature babies found the majority benefit from the ability to see their baby at any time in neonatal units, though it made some more anxious

webcam
For most parents a webcam showing their baby increased a feeling of closeness.
 Picture: Alamy

A study into whether webcams can help with early bonding for parents of premature babies found the majority benefit from the ability to see their baby at any time in neonatal units.

Researchers interviewed 30 parents and 18 professionals, including nurses, midwives, nursery nurses and doctors, in a Scottish hospital over six months.

For the majority of parents the benefits included an increased feeling of closeness, enhanced emotional wellbeing, improved post-birth recovery and being able to involve family and friends by sharing images on a tablet computer kept by the mother in the post-natal area.

More responsive

A number of parents said the technology meant they were able to be more responsive to their babies’ needs – for example, seeing their baby helped mothers to produce breast milk.

However, a small minority of parents reported that their anxiety was heightened by the ability to see their baby around the clock.


Kerr S et al (2017) Transition to parenthood in the neonatal care unit: a qualitative study and conceptual model designed to illuminate parent and professional views of the impact of webcam technology. BMC Pediatrics. doi:10.1186/s12887-017-0917-6

 

This article is for subscribers only

Jobs