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New Cuddle Cots to Support Grieving Parents and Whānau Blessed in Dunedin

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A blessing for three new Cuddle Cots to support parents coping with the loss of their pēpi has been held at Dunedin's Queen Mary Maternity Centre.

When parents experience a stillbirth, it’s important for them to be able to spend time with their pēpi. A Cuddle Cot is designed to maintain a cool environment for stillborn babies and allows parents and whānau to gather their thoughts and spend precious moments with their child without time constraints.

Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand has funded the purchase of three new cots to replace the old ones which are no longer suitable for medical use.

Dunedin Hospital is one of several New Zealand hospitals equipped with Cuddle Cots – in Queen Mary Maternity Centre and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. These were made possible by the generosity of Emmerson Morgan and Ben Davidson following the tragic loss of their daughter, Adisyn-Hope Davidson in Wellington.

The pair fundraised and donated three original Cuddle Cots to Queen Mary in 2015 to provide a legacy in Adisyn’s memory. Now that those Cuddle Cots have been retired, three new ones will provide new comfort to families in need.

“When I was fundraising for the original Cuddle Cots, my daughter's page was called 'Adisyn's HOPE for Others - The Gift of More Time,” says Emmerson.

“This is exactly what Cuddle Cots provide - precious time to get to know your baby, keep them close, bond with them, and cherish every moment together. I am thrilled and relieved that Queen Mary can now offer these once again."

Fiona Thompson, Midwife Manager Secondary Tertiary Maternity Services, says parents appreciate the opportunity to spend time with their child after they have passed.

"The new Cuddle Cots are a continuation of Emmerson and Ben’s kind act for the Otago community, and we appreciate that this can happen with Te Whatu Ora’s support.” Fiona adds.

New Cuddle Cots to Support Grieving Parents and Whānau Blessed in Dunedin

(From left) Chaplains Alison Latton and Vivienne Galletly; Fiona Thompson, Midwife Manager - Secondary Tertiary Maternity Services; Mel Rackham, Midwifery Advisor - Maternity Quality and Safety Programme; Emmerson Morgan and her son Kees Davidson (front left), Sonya Shanks (front right), Shannon Hodson and her pēpi, William Spelman, and daughter Emily Clarke; Adele McBride, Queen Mary Midwife Manager, gathered for the blessing of the new Cuddle Cots on September 26 2023.