Technology Brings Dad into Delivery Room via Skype

Baylor Irving’s labor and delivery unit recently hosted a high-tech delivery when patient Christina Robertson used Skype, a software application that allows users to make voice and video calls over the Internet, to share the birth of her daughter with her husband overseas.

Christina is so shy she wasn’t even sure she wanted the doctor in the delivery room, much less extended family. But, as her labor progressed she became more comfortable with the experience. Besides, she had something really important to focus on. Her baby girl was on the way, but her husband, Army Specialist Justin Robertson, was stationed half-way around the world in South Korea and would have to miss the birth of his first child.

“We had been Skyping once or twice a week and I promised him I would Skype after she was born so he could see her,” Christina says, “Then one of the nurses said another patient had Skyped her baby’s delivery.”

Phone calls were made, e-mails were sent, permissions were granted and procedures were followed. Christina’s mom was instructed to stand at the head of the bed, iPad ready. Though it was after 9:57 p.m. in Irving, it was 11:57 a.m. in Seoul, South Korea, as Justin sat at his computer, listening and watching as MacArthur OB/GYN Jeff Livingston, M.D., lifted the soldier’s precious baby girl over the draped sheet and laid her on her mother’s chest.

[blockquote3]“What an amazing experience,” says Dr. Livingston. “I love how technology can be used in health care to bring people together and make the world a little smaller. Using Skype to make it possible for one of our soldiers fighting for our country to be able to witness the birth of his child is just awesome. I love that Baylor Irving continues to be supportive and a leader in innovative uses of technology in health care.”[/blockquote3]

Taylor Robertson was 9-pounds, 3-ounces at birth with a full head of dark hair like her mom. Dad received permission to come home two days after Taylor’s birth so he could spend the first 10 days of his daughter’s life with his family. Once he returns to South Korea, he will be far away in miles, but the sound of daddy’s voice and the look of love on his face will only be a mouse click away.