A CuddleCot is a medical device that helps preserve the body of a baby so that grieving parents can spend more time with them. This in-room cooling unit that is the size of a humidifier disguised inside a Moses basket gives families the choice to work through the grieving process at a speed that is comfortable to them, allowing time to take photos, make plaster molds, and create memories with their baby that will carry them through their grief. This may seem confusing or even morbid to those who have never endured stillbirth or infant loss, but in every case, parents always wish they would have had the opportunity for more time.
The CuddleCot is developed and manufactured by a company in Britain, and has earned accolades all over the United Kingdom. Since going to market in 2012, over 95% of hospitals in the UK now utilize Cuddle Cots, which pales in comparison to only a few hundred in the US.
At last count, only 5 hospitals in Louisiana had acquired Cuddle Cots through either charitable giving or a private donation. The disappointing part of this is that families who have experienced infant loss and did not have the option of a CuddleCot are the ones providing these devices to hospitals to help prepare them for other families who will suffer the same heartache. Because of the changing demands in the health care systems, hospitals are not able to adequately support the best quality of care for families in this situation. Not only is the Cuddle Cot a benefit to families, but also the staff required to care for them. We know from our personal experience that the incredible nursing staff mourn with us in our loss, and they have to repeat this process with each family and every loss. The goal of The Ardent Foundation in our CuddleCot Campaign is to accelerate the change in the healthcare landscape by ensuring every hospital system has CuddleCots available so that every family has a choice in how they grieve the loss of their child.