Creating precious memories: how one bereaved family chose to support others

Bromley Maternity Voices brings together service users and professionals to improve maternity services in Bromley. We listen to and involve diverse families, including those who lose their baby during pregnancy or soon after birth.  This year, we had an opportunity to help one bereaved family make a difference for others who may sadly find themselves in this situation.

One of our professional members had told us about Cuddle Cots, which enable parents whose baby has died to spend some time at home with their baby. Following discussion at a Bromley Maternity Voices meeting, we made contact with the 4Louis Charity who put us in touch with Tracy and Richard Roper. Tracy and Richard were fundraising for a Cuddle Cot, in memory of their daughter, Lily Roper. The Ropers and their family and friends raised money for this cot through fundraising events including a coffee morning and a half-marathon, and it was presented to the PRUH in September.

Tracy and Richard have told us why they decided to fundraise for a Cuddle Cot:

“After having the use of a Cuddle Cot after the stillbirth of our daughter Lily, we knew straight away we wanted to fundraise for another cot to help other parents in the same situation. The use of a Cuddle Cot was invaluable to us – allowing us to spend a precious extra day or two with our daughter, and enabling us to have her with us constantly for our time in the hospital. This time gave us the chance to create memories that we and our family will treasure forever. We hope this cot will give other bereaved parents the same opportunity, as well as keep Lily’s memory alive for years to come.”

Yasmin Shan is the Specialist Midwife for Pregnancy Loss at the PRUH. She told us what the new cot will mean for bereaved parents:

“Having a pregnancy loss is the most devastating experience for parents and family. During this most difficult time the Cuddle Cots enable parents and families to create long lasting memories and spend all the time they need to say good bye to their beloved little angels. As a Trust, having the Cuddle Cots to offer as part of the bereavement care ensures the right care is delivered at the most crucial time when getting care right is so important.”

For us at Bromley Maternity Voices, this is an example of how by bringing people together across professional and organisational boundaries, we can achieve tangible change for future parents.