HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s a tough decision for families with premature babies in neonatal intensive care units. Coronavirus restrictions allow just one parent to visit at a time.
“They have very limited immune systems so we know that we have to be very careful to prevent them from having exposure to a virus like this,” says Dr. David Sink, who runs the neonatal intensive care units for Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.
They are located in Hartford Hospital and UCONN Health.
Each NICU uses a remote camera system called Angel Eyes to allow for families to view babies remotely. It is not unusual for some premature babies to spend months in the NICU after birth.
Recently Connecticut Children’s realized they had more babies than cameras so they put out a plea for support to purchase more.
UNICO of Manchester and the Macie Grace Foundation generously donated for additional sets of Angel Eyes. When Connecticut Children’s called the company to order eight sets of the system, the company donated two more sets.
Dr. Sink has observed some positive benefits from this non-traditional mother and baby interaction.
“There’s some evidence, some literature that may suggest that there’s improved bonding with NICU babies related to that virtual visitation that they can do,” says Dr. Sink.
He also sees some evidence of improved milk production with mothers who are pumping from home or work while using Angel Eyes.