Swansea parents donate CuddleCot so grieving families can create precious memories

Parents in Swansea who lost a baby are supporting others going through the same devastating experience to create precious memories of their own.

They have donated a CuddleCot to allow families grieving the loss of their baby during pregnancy or shortly after birth to spend time with them by slowing down the natural processes that occur after death.

The new CuddleCot is an addition to the two already available in Singleton Hospital’s maternity and neonatal units.

Pictured with the CuddleCot are: Chantele Cross-Jones and Christie-Ann Lang, along with support group members Lauren Greenhill, Leon Buckley, Jazzmin Roberts, Adam Japp, Jonathan Cross-Jones with two-year-old Effie, and Interim Midwifery Matron Felicity Curtis. (Image: Swansea Bay NHS)

The group was formed in October 2019 by a number of bereaved parents and Swansea Bay’s specialist bereavement midwife Christie-Ann Lang.

“Using a CuddleCot ensures an adequate temperature is maintained to keep the baby cool,” said Christie-Ann. “It slows down the process of the natural changes that occur when a baby sadly dies.

“Parents are encouraged to keep their baby on the mat when they are not having cuddles or making memories to ensure they can spend as much time with their baby as they want.

“They can also choose to take their baby home with them and the cuddle cot is provided for them to use within their own home.

“Recently we had numerous families on the labour ward at the same time whose babies had died and we were short of CuddleCots.

“Having discussed this issue during support group the parents very kindly donated a third CuddleCot to the hospital, which was delivered within the week.”

Christie-Ann said it was suggested families used the CuddleCot for up to 72 hours. However, every family grieved differently and some might choose to use it for longer or not at all if they found it too difficult.

“All staff respect everyone’s decisions and will always provide individualised care to ensure all wishes are respected,” she said.

“As well as the CuddleCot we offer to take photographs, hand and footprints, locks of baby hair, dressing and bathing baby and will try and meet all parents’ requests where possible.

“The-memory making we offer will last a lifetime. It is really important we offer parents all options so they can make an informed choice. 

“They might change their mind in time, whether it be in weeks, months or years down the line, and we will not be able to get those moments back.”

Read the full article here.

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