Time to Grieve; Placing a CuddleCot in Brooklyn’s Methodist Hospital
Last week, Breastfeeding World shared the Story of Wendy Cruz-Chan. Wendy is a mother whose son, Killian, was stillborn, and decided to pump and donate over 2,000 oz of breast milk to six different babies, in honor of her son. Her strength and perseverance didn’t end there. She also wanted certainty that other families who have gone through such a horrific experience are able to receive the gift of time, to say goodbye to their babies, gone too soon.
Her next goal is to raise enough money to get a CuddleCot in NY Methodist Hospital, and hopefully other hospitals, to honor the memory of her son, Killian.
The Inspiration for CuddleCot
Simon Rothwell, the Managing Director for Flexmort and Creator of the CuddleCot, said they are a UK based company. They manufacture a range of innovative mortuary cooling systems. For 2016, they won the Queens award for Innovation. Inspired and innovative is a wonderful way to describe this product designed by this former police officer.
15 years ago I used to be a Police Officer and had to take a family that had lost a baby down to the hospital mortuary in order for them to see the baby. This was a terrible way for them to grieve, and it stayed with me. Therefore, as a company we decided to look into the still birth area and saw that experts (Doctors, Psychologists and Baby Loss organisations) stated that families should be given the option of staying with their baby as long as they wished. This would help the bereavement process. However, in reality, the problem was the babies could deteriorate in warm hospital rooms. So many families aren’t getting the time they wanted. So we worked with hospitals and bereavement charities in the UK and designed the CuddleCot.
Virtually every hospital in the UK uses CuddleCots. There are hundreds in use around the world.
After birth, my son Killian stillborn at 4:40am. The nurse informed me that I only have a maximum of 2 hours with him. After that, the staff would remove him. This is because his body would begin to “change” quickly at room temperature. Thus, spending less time with my baby. I did not have enough time to dress him, take professional pictures of him and have my family members to visit in the middle of the night. Two hours to spend together, to bond and grieve, is not enough time. Consequently, my husband and I suffered a very difficult and traumatic experience.
Then, I learned about the CuddleCot, a cooling system device which is placed in any basinet. It’s purpose is to keep the body cool while staying in the same room with the mother, for as long as she’s stays in the hospital. I became determined to have one placed in the hospital where I had my stillbirth, and hopefully other hospitals as well. I want to give future stillbirth families the gift of time with their baby. Time I’ve never had with Killian. With this, I hope that it would give them some proper closure in their hearts while they grieve.
The Cuddle Cot and Saying Good-Bye
The gift of time given to grieving families through the CuddleCot is invaluable. The ability to treasure the first and last moments with their child, to take pictures, study their features, say goodbye, is absolutely priceless to a grieving family. It is also critical in the healing process.
Deborah L. Davis, PHD, and developmental psychologist writes in Psychology Today about the CuddleCot. She states how important it is for a family to have time to grieve and bond with their child.
Parents can benefit from spending a prolonged period of time with their baby (link is external) after death. After childbirth, parents are psychologically and biologically primed to bond with and nurture their newborn. Even after a death, parents wanting to be with their baby is a natural expression of their postpartum drives and parental devotion. As a result, spending time with the baby’s body can offer a number of therapeutic benefits over the course of several days or longer.
Help Place a CuddleCot in NY’s Methodist Hospital
Join us in helping break the silence attached to still birth. Please, join us in helping Wendy to raise enough money in order to donate a CuddleCot to NY’s Methodist hospital. Donate to her YouCaring Link here. Please, share her story, share her strength, and give other grieving families the gift of time that she was unable to have.
Breastfeeding World is a small, self funded project. However, we believe strongly in Wendy’s message and we support her cause. Because of this, we have decided to make a small donation of 100$ to her youcaring account. Please join us in helping her to reach her goal.
Be sure to join us in our social media accounts to be up to date with the progress of our project!
And… Don’t forget to share your brelfies using our HT #BreastfeedingWorld
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