Premature

Knitted pulpits in premature babies. They are not as beneficial as you think


When God rewards us with the arrival of our longed-for child, we take care of our pregnancy so that everything comes to a happy term, but for different reasons the birth can be brought forward and our child is born prematurely. And that's when parents, wanting to save and improve the life of our little one, we look for all kinds of options, such as those so fashionable knitted pulpits. Are they as beneficial as you think? What evidence is there that they are good for premature babies?

Photo: Poole Hospital (UK)

We call a premature baby who is born before 37 weeks of gestation, so his health condition, due to his immaturity, is quite delicate and most likely he will need to be in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for a while until Get mature enough to be with your parents at home.

And so that this is fulfilled as soon as possible, measures are taken that are sometimes strange or unusual, as is the case of the use of knitted pulpits within incubators, which are accepted by some and questioned by others.

To date, there are no scientific studies that support that crochet pulpits They improve the general condition of premature infants and provide them with a more stable and calm hospitalization and a faster and optimal recovery, therefore, their beneficial effect has not been scientifically corroborated. So far everything is based on the good faith of the parents of these premature babies and of the doctors and staff who work in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units, who have allowed the placement of the knitted pulpits inside their incubators.

Regarding the safety issue of these crochet octopuses, When they are manufactured, various measures are taken regarding the quality of the yarn, the filling, the type of confection, the length of the tentacles and other basic measures, which guarantee a strict quality and safety control both in their preparation and in the packaging. , to be able to be placed inside the incubators where the premature babies are. (Information obtained from the Noupops page).

My opinion as a pediatrician on this issue is that any object, be it octopuses, stuffed animals, blankets, stamps or crosses, no matter how strict security measures are taken, can be a risk to the health of the premature baby, due to the issue of infections, since these babies themselves have a depressed and underdeveloped immune system to defend themselves against germs or microorganisms in the environment or carried by these objects introduced into the incubator.

I even remember when I did my internships as a resident of the neonatology area, within Reten or the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, before entering we took off any object, say watches, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, that could be the cause of any contamination and, even, the clothes that he used to be there, had to be very well sterilized (jumpsuit, mouth cover, hat and disposable or non-disposable boots), so the use of these knitted pulpits for me it is somewhat questioned.

But if I see it from the point of view as a mother of the premature baby who is hospitalized and according to the beneficial experiences of many other patients, that anything or object that restores my son's health would be well accepted, that is why this topic for me is quite controversial.

And as for the use of these pulpits in the cribs of babies at home, I remind you that especially in the first six months of life, due to safety regulations and preventing sudden death syndrome, no object is recommended within the baby cribs.

To conclude, my very personal opinion is that scientific verification of the benefits and safety of knitted pulpits in the well-being and health of hospitalized premature babies would be needed.

The story of the knitted pulpits is actually a very cute story that dates back to the end of 2012 in Denmark. A father, who had his premature baby hospitalized in the Neonatal Therapy Unit, presented himself with a knitted pulpit, which he placed inside his daughter's incubator, with the permission of the doctors on duty. The idea was to make her daughter's stay in therapy more tolerable and bearable for as long as necessary.

Those who were present at that time said that it was incredible how the baby took with her little hands the tentacles of the knitted pulpit and clung to them. This circumstance allowed her not to grasp, let alone tear off, the tubes that kept her connected to the respirator, to the heart monitor cables and to the pathways that carried fluids and medications to her body (sometimes the involuntary movements of newborns make the tubes or lines that are connected to them come out).

It was also observed that after the pulpit was placed inside the incubator, the baby began to appear less restless, that is, more calm. They attribute this to the fact that the tentacles of the pulpit resemble the umbilical cord, so apparently the baby, when she clung to them with her little hand, imagined that she was still inside the womb, exerting a relaxing, calming effect, to the point of observe an improvement in heart rate and ventilation, obtaining better oxygenation in the blood and a more satisfactory evolution of the clinical picture.

Since that time this action has been carried out in many parts of the world, such as Spain, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, Canada ...

The person who wove the first pulpit was Mrs. Josefine Hagen Solgaard, founder of 'The Danish Opto Projet', which is a non-profit foundation, who after that first experience, continued to weave many more pulpits for many other newborns. premature babies who needed it in their incubator and encouraged many other people to collaborate with such a beautiful work.

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Video: How a Dublin knitting group helped these premature twins (October 2020).