Stillbirth and infant death are devastating experiences for a family. Grieving the loss of a child, while painful, is a required part of the healing process. There is never any "getting over" the death of a child, but there is moving through different stages and ways of feeling -- the cycles of intensity ebbing and flowing as they do.
In the hours and days after death, many parents find it comforting and healing to spend as much time as possible with their child's body. In fact, research has found that when parents are able to spend time and hold their babies for an extended length of time after death, they experience more positive emotional and psychological benefits. (Source)
As time passes after death, a baby's bodily condition can begin to deteriorate quickly when in a warm or room temperature environment. Thankfully, many hospitals have available the CuddleCot, which is a device that keeps baby's body cool enough to remain safely and peacefully preserved while providing parents additional time to be with their baby. The CuddleCot consists of a cooling pad and a "Moses" style basket/bassinet. The devices works quietly, is easily portable, and maintains a cool, consistent temperature that preserves baby while not being too cold for parents.
The CuddleCot helps grieving parents in hospital, and also can be used for a period of time at home after the hospital stay. The traditional separation of parents and baby after death, when baby is taken for preparation for burial, can be very distressing to grieving parents. Research found parents reported that it "felt unnatural to leave their baby and of difficulty in going home empty-handed. Leaving the baby behind in hospital can contradict the parental biological instinct to care for and protect the offspring." (Source)
Because the CuddleCot is portable, it can even be used at home for baby so that parents and baby can stay together up until the time of burial. The CuddleCot allows for an extended period of time for parents to bond, grieve, and heal.
To learn more about the CuddleCot, I encourage you to visit the company's website. It is my sincere hope that anyone reading this will never have the need for one, but even your brief knowledge of the device may one day help a family in need. Not all hospitals in the United States have a CuddleCot at this time, but its availability and use are growing. Many organizations and individuals have organized fundraisers in order to purchase a CuddleCot unit for their local hospital.
TagsBirth Postpartum Infant loss Stillbirth Infant Death Child loss Grief CuddleCot