‘Cuddle Cots’ help grieving parents of stillborn children - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

‘Cuddle Cots’ help grieving parents of stillborn children

The CuddleCot allows grieving parents to spend time with their stillborn child. (Source: Flexmort) The CuddleCot allows grieving parents to spend time with their stillborn child. (Source: Flexmort)

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) -  A group of mothers said their experiences were different but they share an unlikely bond. 

They each have given birth to a stillborn child and the hospitals where they gave birth, Grand Strand Medical Center and Conway Medical Center, did not have a device that could have helped them grieve their babies.

Now, the mothers are working to provide this device, called a CuddleCot, for the hospitals to help other families.

The company that designed the CuddleCot, Flexmort, said the system cools the baby, which allows the infant to remain with the family, thereby giving them all the time they want.

A cooling pad can be placed in any basket, crib, bassinet or bed. It is connected to a specially insulated hose, and is quietly cooled using the CuddleCot cooling unit.

Teresa Bennett-Yates said 25 years ago, she delivered her stillborn daughter ,Meagan, at Grand Strand Medical Center.  

She said after giving birth, everything happened so quickly. 

"Typically you get 10 minutes with your baby after it's born because newborns deteriorate very quickly," Bennett-Yates said. 

It was after her loss that an article about the CuddleCot just fell in Bennett-Yates' lap.

"I started doing more research, and after reading, I felt like if I had only had a CuddleCot," she said. 

The mother said she wanted to donate the device to Grand Strand Medical Center in her daughter's honor, but she said her gesture became bigger.  

"I kept thinking about my friend Robin, who also gave birth to a stillborn," Bennett-Yates said. 

The two mothers started 'Meagan and Austin's Continued Journey' an organization dedicated to providing CuddleCots to hospitals across the Carolinas. The organization was named after the children they lost. 

"There's 250 in the U.S. at this point, out of 6,000 birthing centers," Bennett-Yates said.

Mothers like Kelly Ingram, who also has experienced a stillbirth, are helping with the cause. 

Ingram lost her baby girl, Braelyn, in 2013, and she grieves every day. She said people do not talk about stillborn death and her hope is to educate others. 

"Everybody needs to know it happens all the time," Ingram said. "It is so relevant and it's not easy. It's been three years for me, and it is just as hard for me as the day that it happened." 

Ingram and Bennett-Yates said they are preparing for a fundraiser to help raise money to provide two hospitals with a CuddleCot, Grand Strand Medical Center and Brunswick Medical Center.

"When I spoke with both hospitals, neither one of them had heard about the CuddleCot. I was surprised," said Bennett-Yates. 

The CuddleCots retails at approximately $3,000, including shipping costs from Europe. It is used extensively in United Kingdom at more than 95 percent of hospitals. 

It was 2014 that the CuddleCot was launched in the United States and Canada. 

"They can make memories, make peace, come to some closure, ask and answer questions," Bennett-Yates said. "As long as the baby is in the basket, they have as much time as they need for the closure."

Bennett-Yates said the CuddleCot not only helps grieving parents but it a tremendous asset to the nursing staff.  

"That is a terrible job," she said. "They have to take the baby from the mother’s arms." .

Six years ago, Heather Moore, delivered her daughter stillborn at Conway Medical Center.

"You know, I still have all this love for her and miss her so much, and that's why I wanted to donate a CuddleCot in her honor," Moore said. 

Moore said she delivered Brinley knowing she was already gone.

"I found out she was gone before I gave birth to her, and so knowing going into delivery that she was not living and that I would not be able to bring her home was so very hard, " she said. 

Moore added she is raising funds to provide a CuddleCot for Conway Medical Center in her daughter's honor. She also plans to help with raising funds for several other hospitals within the Grand Strand. 

For more about Meagan and Austin's Continued Journey event, visit their Facebook page:

For more information about Heather Moore's CuddleCot donations, visit her Facebook page:

To make a donation, visit the GoFundMe website.

The Fundraiser event is July 28, from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at the Brunswick Plantation. Tickets are $25. 

Copyright 2016 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly