Providing After – Death Care at Home When a Baby Dies

Deborah L. Davis Ph.D.

Deborah L. Davis Ph.D. writes in Psychology Today about the profound effect on bereaved families who are able to take their baby home with them after they have died using a CuddleCot.

Deborah writes, “Up until about 150 years ago, death in America was a family affair. People typically died at home or in the field. When possible, the family or clan would collect and take care of their loved one’s body by washing it, dressing it, sometimes photographing it, and often laying it out for visitation by mourners. Then, in the latter half of the 1800’s, the new profession of “undertaking” came along. Soon it became customary for families to hand over their deceased loved one to a funeral home.”

A parent cradles their baby in their arms using the CuddleCot

Parents can benefit from bringing their baby home

The CuddleCot is lightweight, portable and easy to set up in hospitals, hospices, funeral homes and at home.

“For many parents, relinquishing their baby to the hospital morgue is agonizing. As they yearn to nurture their little one, they may regret their baby’s sequestration or be haunted by images of their baby lying alone in the cold dark. For some parents, relinquishing their baby to a stranger from the funeral home can be disconcerting as well. In contrast, bringing their baby home until burial or cremation removes that agony and regret, and offers parents a deepened sense of parental identity. ” writes Deborah.

“Parents get the profound satisfaction of immersing themselves in protecting, nurturing, and tending to their baby at home, thereby answering an imperative call of nature. They can experience the soothing balm of holding their baby whenever they want, sleeping with their baby, welcoming friends and family to their home to meet their baby, hosting a celebration of life, and taking their baby outside to feel closer to the natural world. These are all potentially healing rituals that can avert a feeling of unfinished business, instead allowing parents to proceed as parents and see things through to a more fulfilling conclusion.”

A family reads to their baby after they have died using the CuddleCot

Medical care is constantly improving to accommodate new evidence about what benefits patients and families.

Deborah continues, “Throughout the middle decades of the last century, deceased babies were taken away quickly by hospital staff in order to shield parents from the painful reality of their baby’s brief life and death. But this practice did more harm than good. As a result, since the late 1970’s the standard of care has changed in graduated steps, from showing the baby to the parents, to letting the parents hold their baby, to guiding parents in providing after-death care themselves in the hospital, including bathing and dressing their little one. We’ve also begun to examine standards in other parts of the world, as in New Zealand and Australia where parents have always been expected to bring their babies home after death. So now, in the U.S., doctors, nurses, and funeral directors are increasingly accommodating parents who wish to take their baby home until burial or cremation.”

Bereaved parents are grateful — and benefitting

The impact of the CuddleCot for families is undeniable and has a profound effect on bereaved families well being. To read more about the CuddleCot click here.

To talk to the CuddleCot Team about how we can the CuddleCot can bereaved families at your hospital, hospice or funeral home, call: 08455333561 or email;

Read the full article here

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