When a mother delivers a stillborn baby, the baby is born without any signs of life at or after 20 weeks of pregnancy. In the United States, about 1 in 160 pregnancies end in stillbirth, and most occur before the mother goes into labor.
While it is largely unknown what causes fetal death at this stage of a woman’s pregnancy, these are some factors that may contribute: placental problems, birth defects, poor fetal growth, infections, umbilical cord accidents, and chronic health conditions in the pregnant mother.
However, regardless of the cause of death, losing a baby is always a devastating experience for a mother and her family. Many doctors and psychologists suggest that families spend time with their baby before they are sent to the morgue. This is important because it can bring the family closure and time to form a lasting bond with their baby.
In the past, this has been difficult for hospitals to facilitate because warm rooms cause the baby’s condition to deteriorate quickly. This is why the new cuddle cot invention, or “Moses-basket” is so beneficial for bereaved families.
The CuddleCot cools the baby’s body and allows the baby to stay with the family for a longer period of time, granting them the closure they need. So far, the CuddleCot has received positive reviews by many hospitals around the world. Mary D’Angelo, the Director of Maternal Child Services at the Sisters of Charity Hospital in New York said the following about the CuddleCot:
“We have used the CuddleCot many times already this month alone with great success and satisfaction from both families and staff. Parents are informed of the benefit of cooling their infant without having to remove them from the room. Also the infant is kept on the unit rather than having staff going back and forth to the morgue in the basement. Patients change their minds often about whether they want to keep the baby with them so we are able to meet their needs with less work and stress for the nurses. We have had no complaints related to the CuddleCot and staff really like having it. Caring for families who have lost a baby is difficult but this makes it less so. I would heartily recommend the CuddleCot to any hospital.”
So far, the CuddleCot is used in England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, Canada and in the United States.