Premature stillborn babies are being presented to grieving parents in ice cream tubs at Royal Bolton Hospital.
Due to a “desperate” need for small containers to place babies born sleeping in, people have been asked to donate tubs of approximately the Carte D’Or ice cream tub size.
They are then covered by knitted or crocheted items that have also been donated, in order to mimic a typical baby’s crib.
Mrs Linda Smith, 53, of Davenport Fold Road, Harwood, believes that a crib of an appropriate size is beneficial for the bereaved parents, as it’s essential for their baby to appear comfortable and special.
She added: “I think if you’ve got a baby that’s so tiny that it fits in an ice cream tub, it would look lost in a blanket.
“It’s important that their baby isn’t forgotten.”
In a statement from Royal Bolton Hospital, Head of Communications Heather Edwards said that many hospitals accept donations of small containers for premature stillborn babies in recognition of the wishes of the parents.
She added: “In the past, this has included covered ice cream containers but the Royal Bolton Hospital now has purpose made containers from a charity.”
The charity used is UK based Little Baby & Co, who were unavailable for comment.
However, on November 22 of this year, one patient at Royal Bolton gave birth to a stillborn baby, and then took to Facebook to request donations of ice cream tubs to make into cribs.
There is no fund for the hospital to commission legitimate cots for premature stillbirths, so they must instead rely on donations from charities or members of the public.
Mrs Janet Walsh, 56, of Birtle Drive in Astley, has previously worked as a midwife, and said: “Working in the NHS is hard, we haven’t got a purse full of money we can just spread around.
“If the baby is put in a normal cot, they are just lost in them, so although ice cream tubs are a bit strange, you’ve got to work with what you’ve got.”
Royal Bolton Hospital provide multiple services for bereaved parents of stillborn babies.