Hospital introduces Zoom calls for parents to read bedtime stories to babies in neonatal unit

Photo: Facebook / Southern Health and Social Care Trust
Photo: Facebook / Southern Health and Social Care Trust 

Having a premature baby in a neonatal unit can be a very stressful and anxious time for parents, even without the added stress of a global pandemic and social distancing measures. 

To help ease some of the anxiety, a hospital in Northern Ireland has come up with a wonderful and innovative way for parents to keep in touch with their new bubs in special care. 

Staff from the Southern Health and Social Care Trust have been organising Zoom calls for families so they can "read their babies a bedtime story".

In a Facebook post, a spokesperson for the hospital said: 

"Parents are finding that this eases their anxieties of not being able to visit their babies as often and the babies are very settled after their stories, as reading to newborn infants has shown to improve sleep and encourage brain growth."
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The post continues: "Pictured is baby Conan. He has been in the neonatal unit for nearly 60 days now and his bedtime story has promoted bonding in ways that staff couldn't have imagined possible within such a stressful time." 

The reaction to the post has of course been overwhelmingly positive, with many parents thanking the hospital for such a beautiful initiative. 

Said one: "Brilliant idea, I was thinking of mums and dads and how the situation we are in would affect visits and bonding etc. Well done to everyone involved in this idea.My twins were in cah neonatal just over 8 years ago and were treated so well by all the staff.

And another: "Absolutely fantastic in these times , This would be great if family's could do this all the time , I seen a hospital in England offers this to NICU family's full time with a camera , I would of loved this and would of appreciated so much when my little girl was in NICU." 

"Having our son in the neonatal until for 22 days we will never forget the kindness of the staff during such a tough time…well done everyone…fantastic idea!" 

Over on Twitter, another remarked: "This is beautiful. Care in action"