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Birthing Center Ipads Available for Patients

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Couple holding their newborn babyA $100,000 project to make iPads available for use by St. Luke's Hospital patients has launched in the Birthing Center.

New mothers and families can check out an iPad for the duration of their stay, viewing educational videos on subjects including breastfeeding, newborn baby care, postpartum care and sudden infant death syndrome.

Patients can also use the iPads for entertainment, utilizing news apps, Facebook, Skype, Netflix, a white noise app to help with sleep and numerous other features.

The iPad project is funded by the St. Luke's Foundation's annual Circle of Light event and individual donors, and the intention is to extend the program to all units of the hospital.

"The Foundation's mission is patient care, education, and clinical research, and the iPads fell in with two of those brackets," said Catherine Carter Huber, executive director of the St. Luke's Foundation. "Education and prevention is such a big focus for us."

Prior to the introduction of the iPads, Birthing Center nurses would have to push a large TV cart to each patient's room for viewing of educational VHS videos and DVDs.

"It's been wonderful," said Lori Swanson, manager of the Birthing Center. "It was embarrassing to the nurses to have patients come in and get this great care here, and then they were looking at these videos that were a step back in time."

Birthing Center patient Chelsae Kalm (pictured in photo above, with husband Jordan and their daughter, Jade), who gave birth on April 3 to Jade, weighing 7 lb 10 oz, said she appreciated using the iPad during her stay.

She had experienced the old-style delivery of newborn education when her first daughter was born, and added, "I think it's really great for families to be able to go on and watch all of the important videos you need to watch and be able to go on Facebook to interact with family and friends."