Octopuses help to heal premature babies at Scunthorpe Hospital

With some of the octopus are healthcare assistant Leanne Wilson, staff nurse Emily Whittle, Pippa Curtin, Pippas mum Val Lawson, senior staff nurse Belinda Westfield, advanced healthcare assistant Lucie Close

With some of the octopus are healthcare assistant Leanne Wilson, staff nurse Emily Whittle, Pippa Curtin, Pippas mum Val Lawson, senior staff nurse Belinda Westfield, advanced healthcare assistant Lucie Close

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Grieving mum Pippa Curtin is urging knitters to create cuddly octopuses for the well being of premature babies.

After tragically losing her baby at five days old, Pippa wants to help premature babies have a better chance of survival at Scunthorpe Hospital’s neo-natal unit and toy octopuses are linked to better health and wellbeing for young babies.

Pippa said: “Scientists from Denmark discovered that babies cuddling an octopus were more likely to not pull on the wires and tubes in their incubator. They also found they had a calming effect on the baby which promoted better breathing and a more regular heartbeat.”

She added: “Too many families go through what we went through with Saoirse and I wanted to do something creative and positive to help other people in memory of her. The toy octopuses help to provide a safe and calming environment for babies.

She said: “My mum and friend are helping teach me how to crochet the toys. I was amazed at how little time it takes to make them. I just hope that this appeal acts as a ripple effect and lots of others behind the idea.”

NICU ward sister, Sarah Judd said: “What a fantastic idea. When babies are in NICU they pull on wires in the incubator, so hopefully this will stop them doing that.”