Health Plus: Purple crying - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Purple crying

The birthing process goes far beyond just delivering a baby. Thai's why hospital staff in eastern Iowa want to help educate parents in the process.

Fran Waring is knitting a message into every tiny purple cap she makes for newborn babies at Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo.

"Oh, that makes it a little more special other than just doing your regular white, pink and blue. Yes, it is definite message for the shaken baby," she said.

The Waterloo volunteer is helping the hospital educate parents this month about the Period of Purple Crying--an initiative to prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome.

"Parents don't know their child crying uncontrollably is really quite normal and they start to panic and get very upset that their child is crying like that," Covenant Clinic pediatrician Dr. Angela Townsend said.

New mom Stephanie Pyke from Cedar Falls appreciates the message woven into 2-week-old Emily Marie's hat.

"The information they give us is very helpful, especially when they say the crying some times there's nothing you can do to stop it and don't take it out on yourself. Just kind of put the baby in a safe place and walk away. Otherwise you're gonna get more frustrated. But it's nothing you are or aren't doing, that's causing it," she said.

Colleen Liming from Janesville has been knitting and crocheting for Sartori Memorial Hospital in Cedar Falls--so much so that she's turned out over one-thousand caps.

The purple ones in November give hospital staff a visual reinforcement for prevention.

"Any type of shaking that involves the head going back and forth or the neck rocking back and forth can be very dangerous to the child's brain," Dr. Townsend said.

Why purple?

The color is actually used as an acronym for crying reminders that parents can refer to in times of frustration.

P for peak of crying which comes when a baby's two months.

U unexpected crying.

R resists soothing.

P pain-like face.

l long lasting.

And E evening, when your baby is more apt to cry.



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