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February babies will get handmade red hats for American Heart Month

A handmade, red newborn hat donated by a local crafter for an Oklahoma City American Heart Association project. (KOKH/Jordann Lucero)

Local knitters and crocheters donated hundreds of hats to the Oklahoma City American Heart Association. The hats for newborns are all made of red yarn, the color for heart health.

The organization will give the hats to three hospitals in the metro for babies born in February. They'll be used to raise awareness for congenital heart disease and postpartum heart issues.

"We've found that those issues are on the rise with new moms and when we asked some of the professionals, that are going to be accepting these hats, what message they wanted to give the community, this is what they decided on," organizer Denise Castelli said.

Doctors say mothers need to realize some complications they have during pregnancy, like gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and preterm birth, can increase their risk for cardiovascular disease. Mothers should call a doctor if they have chest pain or shortness of breath.

"I think shortly after having their babies, mothers get very caught up in the duties as a new mother, or continuing mother, and don't think much about what's going on with themselves," Dr. Elizabeth Ngo said. "And often times, I think women can write off some of these symptoms."

Local knitters and crocheters spent the last three months working on red hats.

"The hats have been a joy already. We have so many types of hats," Castelli said.

This is the first year the Oklahoma City American Heart Association has done this project, named "Little Hats, Big Hearts." Castelli said she's already planning to do it again next year.

She said Hobby Lobby is donating red yarn. Anyone who wants to work on next year's project, can pick up yarn from the Oklahoma City American Stroke Association office. You can message the organization on Facebook, or call Castelli, 405-830-2220, to get started.

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