Mom Hospitalized with Coronavirus Uses Recording of Newborn’s Heartbeat to Bond with Her

May 15, 2020

A Texas mother hospitalized with coronavirus found an ingenious way to bond with her newborn daughter.

Emelia Herrera was 35 weeks pregnant when she was admitted to the hospital for suspected COVID-19, reported “Good Morning America.” After testing positive, the 30-year-old was put on oxygen, but soon lost consciousness.

She awoke a week later and found out that she delivered her daughter, Selina, via emergency C-section.

Thankfully, Selina was healthy, COVID-19 negative and quickly discharged to the care of her grandmother. But Emeilia had to remain in the intensive care unit hooked up to a ventilator.

Unable to see or touch her new baby girl, music therapists at Houston Methodist Hospital took recordings of both Emelia and Selina’s heartbeats and set them to songs so mother and daughter could bond.

Little Selina listened to her mom’s heartbeat set to “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” while Emelia listened to her newborn’s heartbeat set to her wedding song, "1,000 Years."

Emelia, who also shares a three-year-old daughter with her husband, believes the recording aided her recovery in the ICU.

"It helped me so much, in many ways," Emelia said. "My motivation was to be back home with my girls and husband."

Experts also believe the recording was beneficial to newborn Selina, who didn't have the chance to breastfeed with her mother.

"Starting at about 25 to 35 weeks [during pregnancy], babies can hear low-bass sounds and they have been hearing their mother’s heartbeat," added music therapist Virginia Gray. "Since she couldn’t hear her mom’s heartbeat, it’d be important for the baby’s regulation to be able to hear her mother’s heartbeat and voice."

More than a month after giving birth on April 8th, Emelia and Selina finally met for the first time just before Mother's Day.

"[My mom] put her in my arms and I couldn’t stop crying," Emelia shared.

Now back at home, the mother of two is still recovering but is beyond grateful to be reunited with her entire family.

"I’m just so thankful that I’m alive and that I’m able to see my daughters through and be part of their lives," she said.

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