In October 2016, in honor of National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, Halos of the St. Croix Valley launched a fundraising campaign to fund a CuddleCot for Western Wisconsin Health in Baldwin.
In less than 30 days, $3,000 was raised by community families to purchase the unit and bassinet. A Facebook poll was conducted to decide which hospital would receive the CuddleCot, and Western Wisconsin Health won the poll by overwhelming numbers.
"We are honored to receive such a wonderful gift from the community," Stephanie Johnson, director of women's health services, said.
"Losing a child is difficult enough. We want grieving parents to have more time in order to grieve their loss. Since the new birth center at WW Health opened in July 2016, we have had record numbers of new babies born. We expect to reach over 200 in 2017."
The CuddleCot will help provide comfort to others experiencing the loss of an infant. A CuddleCot is a bassinet that uses a medical cooling system that delays changes to a stillborn child. The cooling unit is hidden inside the sheets of the bassinet, allowing a serene setting for parents. This unit allows families to spend more time with their precious babies, to capture photos and memorize their every detail.
On Feb. 17, a dedication ceremony was held at the Western Wisconsin Health Birth Center in honor of families that have lost their children.
Kelli Espiritu, Co-Founder and CEO of Halos of the St. Croix Valley and Mari Rasmussen, Project Manager from Halos of the St. Croix Valley presented the unit to the Birth Center staff and provided a demonstration of how to use it.