Knitting for the Nursery

From RiverWoods Manchester to the Special Care Unit at Catholic Medical Center


The knitter’s group at RiverWoods Manchester has a long history of donating hats to the Special Care Nursery at Catholic Medical Center. But recently, a story from abroad caught the attention of a crafty resident. She realized the soft, tiny tentacles of crocheted octopuses could make a big difference to premature babies closer to home.

According to our friends at Catholic Medical Center,  “crocheted octopuses serve as a substitute for umbilical cords, which calms babies, contributing to better breathing, more regular heartbeats, and higher levels of oxygen in their blood.”

First observed by hospital staff in Denmark, babies holding the tentacles are also less likely to pull on cables and IV tubes. The World Health Organization estimates 15 million babies are born prematurely each year, putting them at risk for serious health issues. These little creations are making a big difference to the families in Manchester and have caused quite the “splash” on the CMC and RiverWoods Manchester Facebook pages.

Resident Crafter Pat Howard shares, “the octopus is fast and easy to make, and the payoff is priceless! It feels so great to give back to the community in a creative and purposeful way.”

There are many ways our residents give back to the community. What will yours be?