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Human Interest

Internet Freaks Out As Newborn Baby ‘Walks’ Moments After Birth — But Doctors Say It’s Normal

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Medical miracle? Baby defying the odds? Primitive reflex?

Video footage posted last week shows a baby walking with assistance from a nurse just moments after birth at a Brazilian maternity hospital.

A woman in the video exclaims, “Oh my gosh, the girl is walking. Good gracious!” according to The Sun’s translation. “Merciful father. I was trying to wash her here and she keeps getting up to walk.”

The video has been viewed over 1 million times on YouTube and over 99 million times on Facebook.

But the medical marvel may not be so rare.

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

According to the publication, infants possess a number of “primitive reflexes” as soon at birth. The step or walking reflex, allows babies to “walk”  when held upright with their feet touching a solid surface and is present for about the first two months of life.

And Daniela Corbetta, PhD, director of the Infant Perception-Action Laboratory at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, told Health this reflex has been documented in newborns since the 1940s.

It “looks like walking, but really is only a stepping motion,” Corbetta said. “This is very far from being able to walk.”