Cuddle Cots to help grieve stillborn babies

Kristy Wiegele and Shannon Cook with  a photo of
Kristy Wiegele and Shannon Cook with a photo of

TO be able to spend just a moment longer with their baby boy would have made all the difference to James and Shannon Cook.

Even while grieving for their son Lincoln, who was stillborn three months ago, the couple, along with St John of God Mt Lawley Hospital midwife Kristy Wiegele, are determined to help other parents going through the same hardship to prolong the precious moments.

Together they have raised funds for a cuddle cot for SJOG Mt Lawley, which has a cooling system allowing families more time with their stillborn babies.

Mrs Cook said although she hoped it would never be used, it would help the grieving process.

‘At that time they didn’t have a cuddle cot here and for me, I’ve worked at Princess Margaret Hospital ” I’ve worked with babies that have passed away before so I already had a good idea what he would look like and how long I would be able to hold him for,’ she said.

‘But most parents wouldn’t have that background and insight, so for me I was also on quite a lot of drugs but I just needed my baby the whole time.

‘Normally if an adult dies, your family might come and say goodbye and within an hour or two they might be taken to a funeral home whereas with a baby they can stay with the parent for several days, they can even go home with the parent.’

With six stillbirths in Australia every day and at least one a day in WA, the Cooks and Mrs Wiegele have made it their mission to get a cot into every maternity hospital in WA.

‘We needed $4000 for our first cot, Lincoln’s cot, and we got $5000 in 10 days,’ Mrs Wiegele said.

‘So that’s when I decided I wasn’t going to stop at just our hospital.’

For more information and to make a donation, visit amidwifesgift.