Tamworth couple Zoe Marshall and William Duff have donated a Cuddle Cot to the Narrabri Maternity unit through the Bears of Hope Foundation.
The Cuddle Cot was donated in memory of their baby daughter Amelia, who passed away in Tamworth Hospital on October 11, 2017.
A Cuddle Cot is used when a baby is either still born or passes away soon after birth.
The baby can be placed in the cot and kept cool with a specially fitted cooling system.
The parents and family are then able to spend as much time as they want with their infant, in a personal and private setting.
However, hospitals are not equipped with the cots as a matter of course, and only those hospitals which have received the donation of a cot are able to offer this service to bereaved parents of newborns.
Bereaved parents in hospitals without a Cuddle Cot are not able to easily spend time with their infant, because the deceased infant is removed to the morgue, or another refrigeration facility in the nurses station.
In these cases, the parents and loved ones can spend only limited time with their child, by prior arrangement and often in an impersonal setting.
Ms Marshall said spending a whole day with Amelia, and having the opportunity to hold her when she felt like it, and say goodbye, provided great comfort, and helped the
family accept the reality of what had happened.
It also meant that visitors were able to see her in a personal and comforting setting.
Ms Marshall said that she could not imagine going through this experience without access to a Cuddle Cot, and immediately set about raising the $6000 needed to equip another hospital with the cot.
She chose Narrabri Hospital as the recipient, because it was the closest hospital without a Cuddle Cot.
“I hope it will never be used,” she said, “but it’s good to know it’s there, just in case.”