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Premature Babies Given Crochet Octopus To Help With Recovery

Update Date: Feb 28, 2017 08:20 AM EST

Premature infants are cuddling crochet octopus that is reportedly helping them with their development. A study is still being done in terms of the soothing benefits of cuddling crochet octopus for premature babies. As of the latest update in regards to the research, it was revealed that the colorful octopi are receiving positive feedback from parents with premature babies.

Around 15 million babies are born prematurely every year. The World Health Organization then pointed out that one in every ten children are born before their due date. Premature babies are often caught with birth defects, developmental delays and other health risks including breathing problems and cognitive development.

A hospital in the UK came up with a way to soothe premature babies. According to CNN, the neo-natal ICU in the Poole Hospital is filled with colorful crochet octopi that seem to be cuddling the babies. It was mentioned that the crochet octopus helps the infant helps them have better breathing which gives them a more regular heartbeat. The improvement also gave the infant higher levels of oxygen as mentioned by one of the hospital staff.

 Dr. Valencia Walker, an associate professor at UCLA and the medical director of NICU explains the concept of the colorful crochet octopus and its function. Walker explained however that they have not yet tried the method as it is still in its early stages of research. He stated that the Octopi's tentacles mimic the mother's umbilical cord, soothing the baby.

She then added that the said method is not universal as it may work for one child, but would not work on the other, thus further research needs to be done.

"We've been overwhelmed by the kind response to our appeal for crochet octopi," Daniel Lockyer, a neonatal service matron said in a press release. "We've now received over 200 octopi and have a year's supply ready and waiting for our little patients. Parents are already telling us their babies seem calmer with an octopi friend to keep them company so we're looking forward to continuing with the project in the future."

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