Sunday, August 29, 2010

An iPad in the Labor Room, is this a good idea?

I am patiently awaiting the arrival of the first grandson and third grandchild - scheduled for delivery sometime tomorrow.  I was wondering if the expectant father will be allowed to bring all his hitech gear to use while waiting for the big event.

Do they allow iPhones and iPads in delivery and pre-labor rooms these days?  Should a father come prepared for the big event or should he devote his time to calming the mother and being there for her reassurance - comforting her when the labor progresses?

Could the father track the labor contractions?  One might consider the Labor Mate app that keeps track of contractions by merely tapping the stop watch timer screen, keeping records of those contractions so that you can accurately report the results to the doctor and alert him to the impending arrival of your newborn.

I was playing solitaire on my computer this morning and thinking of the time spent in the pre-labor room, wondering if the distraction of playing solitaire on an iPad would have helped pass the hours before the delivery.  Would this be a good diversion for mothers in labor to help them concentrate on something different from the contractions that are coming?  There is an excellent free Solitaire game for the iPad called McSolitaire that might come in handy to pass the time.  McSolitaire is also available for your laptop as well.  Or maybe you could try out MishMash available for both the iPad or laptop, which allows you to do jigsaw puzzles.  Or how about the many apps that provide soothing sound effects and lovely surreal photos of thunderstorms, rain, ocean waves, birds chirping or many others?

There are various apps for tracking information during the pregnancy such as iBaby and iPregnancy, that might be reassuring during those long nine months.   There is an app that once the baby has arrived you can track how often you change, feed, and put the infant to sleep.  This app Baby Change touts that it helps the parents to keep track of daily events, like feedings, naps, changing the diapers or anything else you would like to track.  You can set alarms to remind you when these events might occur.  Amazing, that I was able to rely on the baby himself to alarm me when I was bringing up my children. 

Of course, having the video and instant photo or recording of the baby to email or share to everyone would be great.  If you are fortunate to have an iPhone 4 then you could FaceTime the arrival almost instantly to those friends and family.  There is also Knocking Video Live app that would allow a quick glimpse of the newborn to those with standard iPhones and even iPads.

And if you haven't finalized the name of the baby yet, you could use one of the Baby Names apps to help you pick a name while you are waiting for the arrival.  I remember distinctively not having picked a name for our son and having to frantically pick a name, as they would not let me leave the hospital before he was named.

As all parents realize later, we sometimes get so busy that we didn't have the time to write down all the important firsts that occurred especially if this was not the first child, so I definitely suggest an app to keep track of all the vital statistics and first events that occur in the little one's first years.   Did you know that some universities want proof that your now 18 year old son, had all his baby shots? 

I suggest using your iPad and iPhone if they let you bring it along, but be sure to share it with the mother to be.

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