The BabyBay Medicare bedside cot

The Trustees are very pleased to announce the first project to be supported by The Sue Moreton Foundation; The BabyBay Medicare bedside cot. The cot offers new mothers the safest and most comfortable way to be close to their new born baby, offering all the benefits of co-sleeping without any of the associated risks.

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What we know today

Despite significant expenditure on maternal obstetric beds, current provision for babies on hospital maternity wards has not changed significantly since the advent of the NHS: the traditional “plastic bowl” trolley cot continues to be used despite advances in the beds provided for mothers.

A new baby is programmed to be no further away from his mother than the length of his umbilical cord. A baby needs to be able to see, hear, smell and sense his mother’s presence in order to feel secure and content. Unfortunately, a baby in a standard cot by the bed is inevitably three foot or more away from its mother. Furthermore, the plastic walls of the cot effectively leave the baby in a sensory vacuum, unable to derive comfort from his mother’s close presence.

Routine separation has a profound impact on a new born baby.  Recent research has shown a new baby three foot away from its mother can produce three times the level of cortisol, a stress hormone which provokes unhappiness and unsettledness, compared to a baby in skin contact.

In the early hours and days after the birth, many new mothers struggle with tiredness and anxiety because their baby will not settle in the usual cot provided. But as soon as a cuddle or breastfeed is offered, the baby feels secure and loved and so falls straight to sleep.  This can be a very difficult situation for the tired mother recovering from labour, and puts extra pressure on busy night staff trying to assist these mothers to settle the baby.  For those mothers who have had a caesarean section, they are unable to reach their baby out from the current cots for a cuddle, so must call for attention from staff every time they want to hold their new baby.

A new born baby nursed close to its mother has high levels of the powerful endorphin called oxytocin (known as the “love hormone”). Oxytocin levels are highest when mother & baby are in close physical contact. With her baby in close proximity the new mother’s prolactin & oxytocin levels are raised. Prolactin is another powerful endorphin that drives instinctive mothering behaviours and promotes confident early maternal behaviours. Mothers with high oxytocin levels are more likely to form strong early attachments to their babies.

The BabyBay Medicare Bedside Cot

It is not practical to have a baby in skin contact 24/7. A BabyBay Medicare bedside cot provides a safe sleeping environment for the new born while allowing mother and baby to maintain close physical contact, easing the transitional journey for both mother and baby from the womb to the world.

The Medicare version of the BabyBay cot has been designed and adapted to strict hospital requirements in collaboration with highly experienced British midwives and healthcare professionals.

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Support from The Sue Moreton Foundation

Initially we will be purchasing six BabyBay  Cots which will be donated across the three North Wales maternity units. We aim to share some feedback following their use in the near future.

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