A Cuddle Cot, for families whose babies have been stillborn, will be presented to North Devon District Hospital tomorrow, 28th June.

A Cuddle Cot is a specialist piece of equipment with a cooling system designed to keep the baby’s body cool after death and slow down natural changes in the baby.

Cuddle Cots are essential bereavement care equipment that can give parents more opportunities to create memories. They facilitate the choice for parents to spend more precious time with their baby in hospital, introduce their son or daughter to family and friends or to take their baby home.

This vital piece of equipment for North Devon District Hospital was made possible by bereaved parents Hayleigh Jones and Alex Scott in memory of their baby Florri, with the help of North Devon Sands, a local group of Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity.

The use of  Cuddle Cots in hospitals is something Sands promotes as good practice in bereavement care.

Chair of North Devon Sands, Katie Reddon, said:

 “Parents remember the care they receive, and good care can make a huge difference to their memories of that devastating experience and to their grieving.”

Hayleigh Jones and Alex Scott’s baby Florri was stillborn on 12th August 2015.

Hayleigh said:

“Our darling daughter Florri was born sleeping at 30 weeks gestation. After a perfect pregnancy we were totally shocked and devastated that our dreams and aspirations had been totally shattered and our daughter had been taken from us with no explanation.  Within a day our whole life had been turned upside down and no human should go through the pain of losing their child, we were in a club that no one wants to be in or many people are aware of.

“Our midwife was amazing and supported us through choices, choices we thought we would never have to make or weren’t prepared for. 

“After three days we knew we wanted some very close friends to meet Florri, we felt we wanted to ensure everyone knew she was real, a human, our beautiful little girl. If we didn’t have use of the cuddle cot this would not have been possible. Now we can talk to some of our friends and family about Florri and we know they have met her.”

Alex said:

“This time last year we were like any other expectant parents to be. We were starting to get the nursery organised and excitedly planning for Florri’s arrival. As the scans had all showed Florri to be growing perfectly we had no reason to think that our dreams were about to be shattered. Tragically, our beautiful daughter Florri, was stillborn on 12th August 2015.

“Our time at Southmead hospital in Bristol was spent in a private room where we received amazing care from a team of extraordinary midwives. They offered us the use of a cuddle cot which afforded us the most valuable time to spend with Florri . Four days may not sound a long time but it has meant that we now have memories to cling on to and these memories can never be taken away from us.

“For us the use of the cuddle cot gave us a small amount of comfort in a desperate situation and that is why we have been raising money to buy cuddle cots for hospitals that are in need of one.”

Sara Wright, Matron for Inpatients at Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, said:

“We cannot thank Hayleigh, Alex and the North Devon Sands group enough for their kind donation of a cuddle cot. As midwives and obstetricians, we try to ensure everything possible is available to parents at this very difficult time and this cot ensures parents can stay longer with or near their baby. We are very honoured to have been given this in memory of baby Florri.”

For further details email: northdevonsands@gmail.com