New Mercy Hospital Women's Center To Include Rooms For Infant Loss

Mercy Hospital is less than a week away from opening its new labor and delivery unit. Inside this new state-of-the-art facility are rooms designed specifically for moms dealing with infant loss.

Tuesday, April 2nd 2024, 6:17 pm

By: News 9, Cameron Joiner


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Mercy Hospital is less than a week away from opening its new labor and delivery unit.

Inside this new state-of-the-art facility are rooms designed specifically for moms dealing with infant loss.

News 9 got an exclusive first look inside the new Love Family Women’s Center to tour the brand-new bereavement rooms.

"It's beautiful. This is Brody’s," Autumn Lashley said, looking at the Caring Cradle she donated to Mercy Hospital in her son’s memory.

Lashley delivered her son, Brody, in December of 2018, at Mercy Hospital. "Labor and delivery is such a happy place normally but unfortunately it's not happy for everyone," Lashley said.

Brody was born stillborn. Lashley and her family were able to stay in the hospital with Brody, thanks to the Caring Cradle, which regulated Brody’s body temperature. During that time, Mercy nurses and doctors took handprints and footprints of Brody, creating invaluable memories for the Lashleys.

Stories like theirs inspired Mercy's bereavement rooms, designed for grieving families.

"The rooms are beautiful," said Carol Chambless, nurse manager for this unit. "Instead of the old-fashioned way of just covering everything up and going on and mom has to be okay, we're actually helping them walk through that journey of grief."

There are six bereavement rooms, each equipped with a Caring Cradle. "Their time here is their only time here with their baby," Chambless said. "Every moment is precious and dear to them."

Each Caring Cradle is in memory of a baby like Brody. "It gave us 36 hours with Brody," Lashley said. "Getting to do family portraits, my older kids got to meet him, my whole family got to come in and see him and hold him and meet him."

Autumn donated this cradle to give every mom the opportunity she had. "You don't understand how important this device or this space is until you're in that moment," she said.

Each bereavement room also has a dedicated private waiting room adjacent to the hospital room. The nurse staff also plans to light a special candle every time a mom suffers from infant loss on the unit.

The Love Family Women's Center will open on Sunday, April 7.

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