“Before birth, a baby is kept warm by its mother’s body. Its own thermostat is not challenged. After birth, a baby’s temperature regulation system is on its own. Placed in a cool environment, a baby may have trouble adjusting. Compared to the rest of its body, a baby’s head is relatively large. Its provides a large area of skin from which heat can escape even if the baby’s body is bundled. The purpose of the cap is to preserve body heat. We do not know whether it also makes a baby more comfortable. Hands and feet are as you pointed out, little. They are unlikely to be a major source of heat loss for a baby. Booties seem to make grandmothers more comfortable and may be recommended for that reason alone.” Rockford Register Star
Betty has been knitting hats for SwedishAmerican Health System in Rockford, IL since 1994. The article above featured in the Rockford Register Star by Mondena Wilson and Alian Joffe, for the Baltimore Sun, demonstrates the importance of the work that Betty does but let me tell you more.
To date, Betty has knitted a total of 823 bonnets spending to date, 3292 hours knitting for infants in the community. Most often, these hats are placed on babies after birth preserve body heat. Local hospitals often provide the bonnets to newborns so that they all have the same level of quality in their hats. A SwedishAmerican hospital has approximately 2500 each year. Those children that may be less fortunate or cannot afford a bonnet are given the same as any other child. She continues to do this even though she has been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands and urged by doctors to discontinue knitting.
Betty has spent much of her life volunteering to help better the lives of our children in the community. Her golden years have been dedicates to this work. Since age 74, she has been active in local organizations that work for children. She has served as President of the Rockford Day Nursery. She was also honored by SwedishAmerican Health System at their 2002 Volunteer Recognition Banquet for her ongoing support of the newborns.