‘Cuddle cot’ offers solace to bereaved parents

Veronica Gordon, Midwife, and Paul Daly, member of Western Isles Maternity Services Liaison Committee, pictured with the special cot.
Veronica Gordon, Midwife, and Paul Daly, member of Western Isles Maternity Services Liaison Committee, pictured with the special cot.

A special cot which allows bereaved parents to spend precious time with their baby who has died has been gifted to the community midwifery service on Barra.

Leigh and Adam Gordon donated the ‘cuddle cot’ in memory of their daughter Madelyn, who passed away two days after being born in August 2015.

Leigh said: “We were very lucky to have spent two days with Madelyn while she was being cared for in the neonatal unit, but having the use of the cuddle cot in the family room also meant we did not have to say goodbye as soon as her treatment was withdrawn.

“We could spend more time with her, without tubes and wires in the way of her little face.”

The couple decided to make the donation after speaking to SiMBA, an organisation that supports families who have suffered the loss of a baby.

Leigh explained: “We were sad to find out that not everyone has the same chance as us, since not every maternity unit has a cuddle cot.

“It was important for us to raise the money to donate one in Madelyn’s name as every bereaved parent should have the opportunity to spend as much time with their baby as they’d like to.”

The cot is the second to be donated to the Western Isles.

Heather Lawrence, whose daughter Aeryn was stillborn in April 2016, presented a cuddle cot to the Western Isles Hospital Maternity Unit in November after fundraising in Aeryn’s name.

Catherine Macdonald, NHS Western Isles Maternity Ward manager, said; “We already have equipment located within Western Isles Hospital to assist families in Lewis and Harris, with further equipment to be made available to assist families in the Uists.

“We are also grateful to SiMBA for the training, resources and support provided within the Western Isles.”

A cuddle cot is piece of medical equipment that acts like a refrigerated bassinet and allows babies to stay in the room with their parents for longer rather than be taken straight to the morgue after they pass away.