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A precocious newborn 'walks' moments after birth but doctors say it's not that unusual

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Video footage posted Thursday from a Brazilian maternity hospital shows a newborn baby girl appearing to take steps minutes after birth, according to Health. The woman in the video explains in Portuguese that she was trying to wash the newborn, but she kept "getting up to the walk." The nurse pointed to where she had tried to place the girl down, saying, "She has walked from here to here."

Less than a day old, the video has gone viral, with more than 100 million views on Facebook.

Though the baby's maneuvers look amazing, doctors aren't all that impressed. 

“This is a totally normal reflex that babies have,” says Megan Heere, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at Temple University and medical director at Temple’s Well Baby Nursery. “If anything, this video really highlights the reflex and is a good example of what normal babies do.”


As Health reported, babies have a number of primitive reflexes, which allow them to close their hands to grasp something when their hands are stroked, suck when the roofs of their mouths are touched, and throw out their arms when they're startled.

The step reflex, also dubbed the walking or dance reflex, occurs when babies younger than two months are held upright with their feet touching a solid surface.

Dr. Daniella Corbetta, director of the Infant Perception-Action Laboratory at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, said the stepping reflex has been documented since the 1940s. The alternating leg pattern "looks like walking, but really is only a stepping motion." 

“This is very far from being able to walk," she continued. 


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