Double Barrel Delivers ‘Virtual’ Maternity Experience

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Through technology available in the comfort of their own homes, expectant parents can explore the birthing hospital of their choice by means of a “virtual” video tour and a newly launched library of video vignettes now delivered online.

Created by Hamilton’s Double Barrel Studios for the Women’s and Infants’ Program at St. Joseph’s Healthcare, Having Your Baby at St. Joe’s encompasses all aspects of the birthing process, from the parking lot to breastfeeding and from labour and delivery to bathing the new baby. Viewers explore St. Joe’s birthing unit, special care nursery and the mother and baby units in the extended 10-minute virtual tour. Just launched online at www.stjoes.ca 14 new, individual video chapters provide special access to the personal experiences of actual St. Joseph’s Hospital patients and their families.

“This video series is unique because it features real patient stories and our team members in the Women’s and Infants’ Program,” said nurse manager Kim Ross. “That means expecting families will likely meet some of the people they watched in the video when they come in to have their baby, and we think that authenticity leads to a sense of connection and comfort for our patients. “

Months in the making, the comprehensive production features scripts created with contributions from pregnancy and birth expert, Ann Douglas, author of 30 books including the bestseller The Mother of All Pregnancy Books. This educational video collection provides healthcare information in an engaging, very personal manner.

“Tone was really the key. We all agreed that the videos needed to be friendly, warm, and reassuring and that, like St. Joe’s itself, they needed to reflect best practices in maternity care,” Douglas said.

The resulting effect not only serves to calm fears of the unknown, but also prepares expectant parents for the many aspects of the exciting journey they are about to undertake.

Double Barrel Studios owner-operators Roz Allen and Lee Hillman were impressed with the hospitality and openness they experienced while working with staff and patients in the Women and Infants’ Program.

“We were thrilled that these new parents were so open and generous with their private, personal moments,” Allen said.

“We’re truly excited about the range of projects rapidly emerging technologies allow Double Barrel to create. A virtual tour has the advantage of being available to the parents at their own convenience where and when they can best enjoy it, and is also accessible to friends and family members.  It helps parents make one of the most significant choices of their lives: where to give birth to their baby.”