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Wales introduce 'cuddle pockets' to ensure stillborn babies are treated with dignity

In an initiative to ensure that babies who are stillborn are treated with compassion and dignity, the Welsh Ambulance Service has introduced handmade “cuddle pockets” that are used to respectfully transfer these babies to hospital.

According to Right to Life UK, these “cuddle pockets” are designed for babies who are stillborn before 24 weeks gestation, where they are placed in the pocket which uses a ribbon to tie together. They have been designed to help grieving parents during such a difficult time, and ensures their babies are treated with respect and dignity. The cuddle pockets have been donated by non-profit organisation Needles and Hooks Angels and Preemies (NHAP)

Speaking on the initiative, Steve Magee, the clinical lead for the project said “The loss of a baby is incredibly difficult for both the parents and the ambulance crews who attend”.

“Historically, our crews have had no compassionate way of wrapping and transporting premature stillborn babies and have had to improvise with the equipment they have”, he continued. “We wanted to do something that would make the journey to hospital less distressing for everyone”.

“We’re hugely grateful to NHAP for knitting these unique cuddle pockets completely free-of-charge, and to The Consultant Midwife Group for Wales for supporting us to make this happen.”

Also speaking on the 'cuddle pockets', Claire Roche, the Trust’s Executive Director of Quality and Nursing said, “Dignity and compassion is so vital to improving the experience of families when they suffer a tragic pregnancy loss”.

“Thankfully, cuddle pockets will not be needed very often, but when they are, they can make such a difference for mothers, fathers and families,” she said. “For parents, knowing that their babies are being treated with the utmost respect is so important, as well as our staff feeling they are able to provide babies and their families with support and care when they need it most.”

These 'cuddle pockets' are a beautiful way of reminding us of the dignity of the unborn child, no matter what their age. Losing a child in such a way is devastating to parents, and its wonderful to see how the Welsh Ambulance Service are taking measures to help lessen the distress of grieving parents, by ensuring their child is treated with the upmost dignity throughout this difficult time. 

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