Innovation could Save Millions of Preemies.

A caregiver in India uses a NIFTY cup, developed by Seattle researchers, to feed a premature baby with trouble nursing. (PATH)

This great little invention by several Seattle doctors partnering with a Norwegian nonprofit is life-sustaining for vulnerable newly born babies who have difficulty breast-feeding. Whether the babies are pre-term or full-term, millions of them will have a better chance to live.

It is called a NIFTY cup, which stands for Neonatal Intuitive Feeding Technology. It facilitates mothers expressing their breast milk into the 40-milliliter cup with spout that their baby can drink from. The spout allows the baby to control the rate they take in the mother's breast milk. The built-in special design elements specifically aid babies with cleft palates, who have difficulty with suction and feeding, and premature babies. Preemies often lack the strength and skills to breath, nurse and swallow at the same time.

The reusable NIFTY cup is easily washed and is made to prevent spills. The cup costs $1 and will apparently be bundled with four other care products and two programs to promote breast-feeding through birthing institutions in Africa. NIFTY cups have already been successfully used in India.

Read the full article at the Seattle Times.