MEDIA RELEASES

CuddleCot Gift Helps Parents Stay With Stillborns

A Northland couple’s generous donation of a CuddleCot to Whangarei Hospital’s Te Kotuku maternity unit means a child who has died around the time of birth can remain with his or her parents for longer.

The donors have asked they are known only as the owners of Lakeside Business Park.

The donation was inspired firstly by several deaths within the donors’ own family. Also because one of the donors, recently hospitalised for a back operation, was so impressed with the care he received, “I looked around and asked the nurses ‘Where do I send the money?’”

The donors contacted Northland DHBs maternity manger and asked if Te Kotuku would like one of the cold cot units. “We were very grateful to take the opportunity to be recipients of their generosity,” Maternity Services Clinical Midwife Manager Yvonne Morgan said.

Northland/Whangarei coordinator of pregnancy, baby and infant loss support organisation Sands Sue Farrier, helped arrange the donation and said the CuddleCot – a $4700 model which had to be imported from the UK – facilitates Sands’ three point model of care;

  • 1 - Slow down
  • 2 - Active parenting
  • 3 - Make memories with the baby.

The donation not only helps families within Te Kotuku but also lets the community know about the support services Sands offers. “Often people don’t know about online support, Facebook support, email and meetings,” Sue said. Sands workers are volunteers rather than counsellors, Sue added. “We’ve all had babies and whānau who have lost babies. Sands bring people together to let them know they’re not alone.”

CuddleCots are made only by UK company Flexmort. Hospitals traditionally have cooled infants who have died with ice allowing only a brief time for parents with their infant. Cooling significantly increases time families have to bond with their baby, bathe and change baby’s nappy, dress and take photographs with their baby.

The maternity unit may consider loaning the cot for people to use at home so families don’t have to rush to a funeral home.

The couple who donated the CuddleCot also provided a wicker basket. A wooden frame/shelf for the basket was donated by local joiners Regal Plus. The CuddleCot will be used by families in the Butterfly / Kahukura Room.

NZ’s stillbirth rate has dropped significantly since 2007, however the 448 fetal deaths and 294 infant deaths registered with Births, Deaths and Marriages in 2012 alone means stillbirths sadly cause more mortalities than SUDI, SIDS or the road toll.


Sands Northland coordinator Sue Farrier (L) admires the new CuddleCot

Clinical midwife manager Yvonne Morgan (L) pictured with the donors and Sands team




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