When newborn babies come into the world at Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh, the first thing they hear is a song.
The soothing melodies come not from a CD, an iPod or even their own parents, but from the very doctor who delivered them.
“I’ve delivered about 8,000 babies and I must have sung at least to six or 7,000 of them,” Dr. Carey Andrew-Jaja told ABC News.
Dr. Andrew-Jaja began the practice of singing to the tiny humans he just delivered while he was a young resident and learning from a physician who did the same.
“He was about to retire. He asked me to continue the tradition,” he said. “And I’ve done it ever since.”
Dr. Andrew-Jaja’s repertoire of songs includes everything from the expected “Happy Birthday” to the more unexpected like “What a Wonderful World."
“Sometimes the pregnancy has been difficult, the delivery has been complex and yet most of the time out comes this beautiful baby and it’s a moment when you forget that fear,” he told ABC News.
Dr. Andrew-Jaja’s talent put him in the spotlight last year when his employer, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, posted a video on his singing tradition to YouTube.
“When I'm singing to those babies I think that I'm signing 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," he said. “The rest of it is that's it's a beautiful world we live in. You forget about all the crisis going on everywhere, for a moment, when you see that miracle of life in front of you.”