Some hospitals pipe a lullaby through their speakers every time a baby is born, but the soothing sounds in this maternity ward come from an unlikely source.
They call him the “Singing Doctor” – obstetrician Dr Carey Andrew-Jaja is rapidly becoming famous around the world for serenading every single baby he delivers. He estimates he’s sung to up to 7000 newborns, from a repertoire that includes Happy Birthday and What a Wonderful World.
Dr Andrew-Jaja has been thrust into the international spotlight thanks to a video posted on YouTube by his employer, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In it, the Magee-Womens Hospital obstetrician says he started singing to babies years ago after taking over the tradition from his mentor when he retired.
“When I’m singing to those babies I think that I’m singing to a future important person,” Dr Andrew-Jaja says in the video. “That’s the credit I give to all of them. So, to me, it’s a wonderful thing in my hand, the miracle of life. The rest of it is that’s it’s a beautiful world we live in. You forget about all the crises going on everywhere, for a moment, when you see that miracle of life in front of you.”
He says singing creates an instant bond with the baby he’s just delivered. “I enjoy an opportunity to celebrate with the family,” he says.