Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian has launched a first-of-its-kind virtual reality program for expectant mothers to augment their journey through pregnancy into motherhood.
The program, NurtureVR, offers maternity patients the use of VR headsets to access 14 weeks’ worth of educational material, meditation capabilities and other immersive experiences.
“The goal is to nurture the relationship of the mother with her growing baby,” says Dr. Allyson Brooks of Hoag Women’s Health Institute. “We have incorporated the insights of women who are pregnant, were recently pregnant, or are trying to become pregnant to ensure that no matter what kind of pregnancy you are experiencing, Hoag is going to take care of you.”
This includes the ability to upload women’s own 3D ultrasound images for more personalized experiences. After the baby is born, the program continues for an additional eight weeks with topics that cover mother-baby bonding, partner intimacy and emotional changes.
It is the first maternity VR program designed by women for women, according to Hoag.
Each expectant mother can customize her experience – from a mother’s and baby’s skin tones, to the landscapes she sees, to how she chooses to hold her baby while breastfeeding.
NurtureVR will be available in a pilot program involving 30 pregnant women next month.
Hoag is ranked among the top 10 hospitals in California and the best in Orange County by U.S. News & World Report. It has been using VR technology to assist surgeons since 2015.