Aitkin doctor sews a custom blanket for each new child he helps deliver

A young doctor in Northern Minnesota is giving the term ‘personalized care’ a whole new meaning.

For every baby he delivers, Dr. Erik Bostrom sews a custom blanket for the new parents. Each blanket is personalized with the baby’s name, birthday, height and weight.

Bostrom started the tradition shortly after he joined the medical team at Riverwood Healthcare Center in Aitkin, Minnesota. The new doctor was looking for a unique way to attract patients.

"I just thought I had to do something to try and get patients to come see me as the new guy,” said Bostrom.

When a nurse suggested making blankets, Bostrom really only knew how to sew stitches in human skin. Nevertheless, he bought a used sewing machine and turned to his sister-in-law to teach him how to use it.

"It's actually not nearly as hard as I would have thought,” he said.

Nearly two years in, Bostrom has expanded his skill set to include embroidery. He has even dedicated an entire room in his house to it.

“It's a beautiful blanket. It's something she'll cherish her entire life,” said new mom Lacie Hietalati. "He takes the extra time out of his busy schedule to do this for his patients. That’s a lot."

Hietalati said getting the gift was not only a thoughtful gesture, it helped ease the stress of hospital visits and confirmed that she chose the right doctor.

"He will be our doctor from now on,” she said.

Bostrom said the blankets take about three hours to make. He usually delivers one to two babies a month. Each one gets a blanket.

"They're usually super thankful and love it. I've had a few tear up on me,” he said.

He hopes to carry on the tradition for the rest of his career.