Health & Wellness

Little Hats, Big Hearts, at Hunterdon Medical Center

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Michael and Hayley Vignoli with their daughter Aurora Gabrielle, born at 4:05 a.m. Feb. 1. Aurora weighed 8 lbs 6 oz and was 20.5 inches long. Credits: courtesy Hunterdon Medical Center
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RARITAN TWP., NJ - Staff at Hunterdon Medical Center is excited to be a part of the American Heart Association’s Little Hats, Big Hearts program this year.

The American Heart Association is raising awareness about family heart health and congenital heart defects, the most common type of birth defect in the country, with support from The Children’s Heart Foundation. This effort aims to empower new moms to take charge of their own wellbeing while creating a healthy lifestyle for the entire family.

As part of the Little Hats, Big Hearts program, babies born at Hunterdon Medical Center received a beautiful handmade, knitted or crocheted red hat, as well as a kit full of heart-healthy information for mom and baby. Each mom received a health packet which included tips on raising a healthy family, ways mom can take care of herself, heart-healthy recipes and information on children’s heart health.

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In New Jersey alone, 3,500 kits were handed out across the state. Congenital heart defects are structural problems with the heart present at birth. They result when a mishap occurs during heart development soon after conception and often before the mother is aware that she is pregnant. Defects range in severity from simple problems, such as "holes" between chambers of the heart, to very severe malformations, such as complete absence of one or more chambers or valves. According to the American Heart Association, it’s possible to fix most congenital heart defects and there are an estimated 2 million CHD survivors in the United States.

Hunterdon Medical Center and the American Heart Association hope to spread awareness to moms and families during February, American Heart Month, about heart health and a healthy family lifestyle.

The Little Hats, Big Hearts program started in Chicago in 2014 and has expanded to more than 40 states. Since 2016, nearly 5,800 hats have been distributed in the Garden State. For more information about the Little Hats, Big Heart program in NJ, visit www.heart.org/littlehatsbighearts.

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