Having a baby is a stressful time. New parents have so many questions, especially for first time mothers and fathers. The staff at St. Joseph’s Hospital deliver over 3500 babies each year – that’s ten or eleven births each day! They’re experts when it comes to helping parents navigate this brand new territory of hospitals, birthing rooms, breast feeding, diapers and introducing a new member to the rest of the family.
St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton reached out to us to develop a virtual tour of the maternity ward and a library of educational vignettes for expectant parents. Titled, “Having Your Baby at St. Joe’s” – this series encompasses all aspects of the birthing process. Each episode allows prospective parents to explore different parts of the St. Joe’s birthing unit, special care nursery and the mother and baby units, with the extended 10-minute virtual tour taking viewers all the way from the parking lot to the birthing rooms. This series provides special access to the staff and 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 by 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.
We were excited about this project because we wanted to create something that hadn’t been done yet in the realm of online education for maternity care. Most videos that exist online feature actors mimicking their way through staged and stiff scenes – we really wanted the videos to be warm and inviting – to reflect the style and brand of St. Joseph’s itself. They needed to feel genuine in order to connect with real parents. Thus, the documentary style approach.
Double Barrel Studios owner-operators Roz Mugford 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’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.”