The Broken Hill Maternity Unit has gratefully accepted a Cuddle Cot which will be used on the Maternity Unit when a woman has experienced a stillbirth.
The Cuddle Cot was graciously donated by the community of Broken Hill, instigated by Shelly Latham, on behalf of the Emerikus Land Foundation.
The Cuddle Cot will enable parents to remain close to their babies immediately following their stillbirth, for significantly longer periods than before. Without this piece of equipment, babies otherwise need to remain in a controlled environment to conserve their appearance if parents wish to continue to spend time with them.
When a parent loses a baby, there is little adequate consolation to ease their grief. Midwives provide emotional strength and comfort as parents endure their loss, and it is often the smallest of measures that are the most effective. One such measure is to support women while they spend time with their baby, should they feel comfortable doing so. Having time with their baby once they are born, allows a mother to create lifelong treasured memories, in recognition and honour of her family’s loss.
“While the loss of a baby is a very painful subject, it is worthwhile parents know of the resources available to them,” said Maternity Unit Manager, Mrs Elizabeth Bennett. “It is often families who have experienced stillbirth who feel moved to fundraise and donate resources to Maternity Units in a gesture of support for other families. Equipment such as the Cuddle Cot is important for women and their loved ones, giving them time to grieve for their loss.”
The Cuddle Cot was donated with the support of the Broken Hill community. “I would like to say a big thank you to the Broken Hill community, Broken Hill Lions Club, Perilya, Chris Latham, Rotary Club of Broken Hill, ABC radio for publicity, all the local shops who donated items to be raffled and cash donations and John Wren from Silver City Cinema,” said Shelly Latham.
“Without all their support this would never have been able to happen,” she said.
The Maternity Unit expressed its appreciation to everyone who supported the project.
“The Broken Hill Maternity Unit extends its overwhelming thanks and gratitude to the Broken Hill Community for this donation, which will assist Midwives to continue to offer families support in their most immeasurably difficult time of need,” said Mrs Bennett.
While infant mortality rates have declined in Australia over the past two decades, there has been no reduction in the rate of stillbirth. Stillbirths account for 70% of perinatal deaths with the cause of many of these remaining unexplained. Over 2,000 babies are stillborn in Australia and New Zealand every year occurring at a rate of approximately 7 out of every 1000 births, this equates to approximately 6 babies each day.