A MOTHER whose son was stillborn has donated special equipment so grieving parents can spend more time with their baby.

The ‘cuddle cot’, which will be used on John Radcliffe Hospital’s maternity unit, is made up of a cooling pad that can be inserted into any type of baby bed, including Moses baskets, carry cots, and prams.

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It slows down the natural changes in babies' bodies following stillbirth to allow their families to stay with them for longer.

Oxford Mail:

Sharon Luca-Chatha with Paula Gallacher, Bereavement Specialist Midwife at OUH

The cot came Sharon Luca-Chatha's charity The Luca Foundation, after her former colleagues at Bibby Financial Services in Banbury raised £2,000.

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It was set up eight months ago by Mrs Luca-Chatha and her husband Jas in memory of their son Luca, who was stillborn in June, 2012. His name was later added to their surname to keep his name alive.

She said: “I was delighted that my recent employer, Bibby Financial Services, was happy to do some fundraising for my charity, and we agreed the cot would go to a maternity unit near them in Oxfordshire."

Oxford Mail:

Explaining the importance of the cot she said: “We sadly did not have a cuddle cot when Luca died, and it became my mission to ensure all units across the UK had a cuddle cot to allow parents that much needed time to say their goodbyes to the angel baby and also know that we are willing to fund training to prevent stillbirths from occurring.”

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) provides dedicated bereavement services following late miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death.

Women are taken care of in a dedicated suite and the trust has provided the cold cots since 2014.

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Paula Gallacher, Bereavement Specialist Midwife at OUH, said: “The idea of a much-wished baby dying at birth is truly heartbreaking, and something no parent should ever have to think about.

“However, tragically, about 10 stillbirths happen every day in the UK and in most cases the cause of death is unknown.”

She added: “When a baby’s death is confirmed in a hospital, whether it’s a stillbirth or a neonatal death, they are normally taken to the hospital morgue straight away. Thanks to these special cots, the trust can offer parents the choice to spend more time with their baby, which can help families cope with such a devastating loss.”