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Donation Gives Grieving Parents of Newborns the Gift of Time
November 08, 2017

New CuddleCot Donated to St. Luke’s Hospital as Part of Infant Loss Awareness Month.

After the loss of their infant, Stella, at 26 weeks this past Father’s Day, Krista Reiger, 31, and her husband, Casey, of Bangor, wanted to channel their grief by helping parents in similar situations. So Krista decided to embark on a fundraising campaign in order to purchase and donate a CuddleCot, a cooling device used to give parents some extra time in the hospital with their infants after a perinatal death.

With the help of the company who manufactures CuddleCot, Krista was able to secure donations from businesses, friends and families to purchase the system for St. Luke’s University Hospital - Bethlehem. The donation was made during October, which is Infant Loss Awareness Month, in memory of Krista’s daughter, Stella.

The CuddleCot is a temperature controlled cooling pad that can be placed underneath the infant when held or inside a Moses basket or bassinet in order to cool the stillborn infant, giving the family time to grieve their baby before the natural decomposing aspect sets in. A newborn’s body, especially one that is not full term, starts to decompose very quickly, leaving parents with little time to say goodbye or hold their infant. Some parents choose to use the time the CuddleCot provides to hold or sing to the baby, get photos taken, pray, take footprints, handprints or measurements or allow other family members to see and hold the baby. The CuddleCot helps give parents some closure in this horrible time – the only time these parents are ever going to have with the baby they thought would be part of their lives forever.

“A stillborn birth is very traumatic for parents, so we are hoping that CuddleCot aids in the process of saying goodbye and enduring such grief,” says Susan Lorah, RN, St. Luke’s New Beginnings Family Birth Center, St. Luke’s University Hospital - Bethlehem

The CuddleCot is being used in major hospitals throughout the country and internationally and is highly recommended by doctors, nurses, psychologists and bereavement counselors.

“The St. Luke’s staff was phenomenal,” says Krista. “For parents, those hours after a stillbirth are the only time they will ever have with the infant with whom they imagined they’d share a lifetime, so if the CuddleCot helps families grieve or find healing or closure, then it’s priceless, in my opinion.”

Media Contact:

Sam Kennedy, Corporate Communications Director, 484-526-4134, samuel.kennedy@sluhn.org

About St. Luke’s

Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a fully integrated, regional, non-profit network providing services at seven hospitals and more than 270 outpatient sites in the greater Lehigh Valley. The network’s service area includes 10 counties: Lehigh, Northampton, Carbon, Schuylkill, Bucks, Montgomery, Berks and Monroe counties in Pennsylvania and Warren and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey.  In partnership with Temple University, St. Luke’s created the region’s first and only regional medical school campus. Dedicated to advancing health education, St. Luke’s operates the nation’s oldest School of Nursing and 23 graduate medical educational programs and is considered a major teaching hospital – the only one in its region. Repeatedly, including 2017, St. Luke’s earned Truven’s 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital and 50 Top Cardiovascular Program designations, in addition to other honors for clinical excellence. St. Luke’s is a multi-year recipient of the Most Wired award recognizing the breadth of St. Luke’s information technology applications such as electronic medical records, telehealth, online scheduling and pricing information. St. Luke’s is also recognized as one of the state’s lowest cost providers.