Why Every Hospital Should Have Multiple CuddleCots – A Father’s Perspective

By James Rain, Brody’s Daddy

The importance of having multiple CuddleCots in hospitals cannot be overstated. There are sadly around 6,500 deaths everyday around the world, and the need for quality bereavement care is crucial in supporting families. Providing parents with time to create precious memories with their baby is vital in providing compassionate care after death.

Brody Alan Brian Rain was born sleeping at 31weeks on 4th March 2024 at 2:16pm weighing at 3lb 2.

Brody is the most gawjus little baby and was perfect. Some days feel impossible to get through with a heavy feeling of missing something that you know you cannot get back. During the birth, we listened to the radio and there were songs playing throughout, during and after the birth which mean a lot to me and my wife. We regularly listen to these songs which bring happiness to think of my boy but does bring tears that take you back to the day. We have a shelf where our boy rests that is in our living room so we are all together in the same room and a candle burns every night in Brody’s memory.

The time spent at Basildon hospital was difficult, but also beautiful to spend time with Brody and my wife as a family.

We were both completely unaware of what happens in these situations and the support from midwives is incredible. The support provided at Basildon hospital from other bereaved parents too is amazing. From the Aching Arms Teddy to hand and foot casts from Forever Finley. These all help with creating memories and dealing with the grief.

When Brody was born, he was put into a cold cot which at the time was hard to deal with however, this gave us the best opportunity to spend family time and make some of the few memories we could. We spent 4 days with Brody and the cold cot helped to preserve Brody and keep him looking as perfect as the day he was born.

During the 4 days, I spoke to Brody, took photos/video, watched his big brothers favourite TV show Paddington Bear and even sang to him. Reflecting back, this was the best 4 days we got to spend with my boy and creating memories.

To my knowledge, Basildon hospital only had a limited number of cold cots however with multiple bereavements that weekend. Potentially not all parents had the same opportunity to spend with their babies. Every parent should have this opportunity and I will continue to fundraise to help supply more cold cots to Basildon and other local hospitals. I will always remember Brody gawjus lips and lil hands, and I will always feel devastated that I won’t see my boy grow up but also I’m thankful for the opportunity of the cold cot to be able to give us precious memories with our baby boy. 

My message to other dad’s is that it is important to talk. It won’t come easy at first and there will always be good and bad days but friends, family and other support groups help.

I have joined a Sands men’s support Facebook group and whilst I have not messaged or spoke to anyone. Reading other dad’s story’s helps to understand you are not alone and how you feel is completely normal. It’s ok to cry and when someone asks if you’re OK, it’s ok to say no. It’s a journey I never wished to be on but I keep Brody in my thoughts everyday and he will live on through myself, my wife and my oldest boy Theo’s eyes. 

Finding support after loss is incredibly important. Below are just some of the resources available to Dads.

To learn more about CuddleCot’s clinical led and evidence based bereavement care training, visit: cuddlecot.com/training

To talk to a qualified bereavement counsellor online for free visit: cuddlecot.com/grieving

Online Support Groups for Dads:

Sands Facebook Support group for dads – “A community of bereaved men, including dads, grandparents, brothers, and, uncles all helping each other through pregnancy and baby loss.”

Lily Mae – Dads and Grandads WhatsApp Groups – “If you would like to be a part of our Dad’s and Grandad’s Whatsapp Group get in contact with Matt at Matt.whitehouse@lilymaefoundation.org to be added and become a part of our Support group!”

4Louis – Tiny Footprints Brotherhood Online Support group for Dads, Grandads, Uncles and Brothers. First Saturday of every month. 10am Uk/7pm AEDT

Sad Dads – Online support group weekly and monthly (US) A safe, supportive community for dads and non-birthing parents. 

Football teams:

4Louis FC Football team – “this isn’t just any football club – it’s a place where Dads, Grandads, Uncles, Brothers who have lost a child come together to find support and solace.” beacon of Light, Sunderland UK

Sands Football team – Sands United is a unique way for bereaved men to come together through a shared love of sport, find a support network, and feel at ease talking about their grief when they’re ready.  

Podcasts for Dads:

Dads Still Standing podcast  “Award-winning podcast and bereavement support for dads following the loss of a child.”

Still Parents Podcast – “A candid podcast. how do Dad’s tackle the train wreck of baby loss?”

Guys and Grief Podcast – “Supporting men that have experienced pregnancy or infant loss”

Miscarriage Dads – “Humanizing the experiences of miscarriage by normalizing dads openly talking about its impact on us as men and fathers.”

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