Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Cuddle cot donated in memory of tragic baby May Rose

A ‘cuddle cot’, which offers bereaved parents the opportunity to spend time with and provide after-death care for their baby, is to be based in Crossmaglen and will be made available to grieving families throughout the area when needed, The Examiner has learned.

The cuddle cot is being donated in memory of baby May Rose Gibney, who passed away in October aged just six months.  May Rose suffered from a rare brain condition and despite extensive medical treatment, the tot lost her brave battle on October 2nd.

 Following the loss of her daughter, May Rose’s heartbroken mum Analee wanted to do something in her memory that would help other families in similar situations.

Donations to a fundraising campaign during May Rose’s short life, together with proceeds from the sale of personalized Christmas tree ornaments, has funded the cuddle cot that will be located in McConville’s Funeral Directors, Crossmaglen.   Although based in the town, Analee says it is a “floating” cot, meaning all local funeral directors can have access to it when needed.

Analee’s extended family originate from south Armagh and she paid tribute to the support she has received from people across the area.  She said: “I chose this funeral home as this is who my family would deal with for bereavements and the community up that way has really gone beyond helping us in our journey.  So this is how May Rose and our family give back to these wonderful people.”

The young mum explained how the use of a cuddle cot helped her cope in the hours after May Rose passed away.

“Without a cuddle cot, I wouldn’t have got the time I needed to say my last goodbyes to May Rose,” she said. 

“Cuddle cots and snuggle mats are so much needed in the communities.  Every week there is a parent losing their baby, whether that be from still birth, neonatal death or unexpected, this happens.  Dealing with the death of a baby or child is incredibly difficult and bereaved parents should be given the option of spending time with their precious baby. Providing family time through the use of a cuddle cot is internationally encouraged by midwives, bereavement practitioners, neonatal and still birth charities, and doctors.

“A cuddle cot allows the families to create that important bond with their baby before laying them to rest at their forever bed. Whether that’s changing his or her clothes one last time, changing nappies, taking photographs, footprints or handprints or simply just staying close by, this helps families in dealing with their loss,” she added.

Analee says is determined to continue to help families in need in memory of her baby girl and planned events and updates will be posted on the Facebook page May Rose Gibney’s Journey.