Lavington mother helps heal pain of loss

Tamara Coan. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL
Tamara Coan. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL

A LAVINGTON mother is making tiny dignity nappies to help parents grieve stillborn babies.

Tamara Coan started making Angel Baby Nappies two years ago after both she and a friend lost baby girls.

“I was 18½ weeks when my little girl was born,” she said,

“I didn’t even get to hold her, I had her and she was just gone.

“I wanted something to do when I lost my little girl — I didn’t feel complete.

“Then I heard about the nappies and wanted to do that.”

Miss Coan said Wollongong mother Tania Tree had come up with the idea after a similar loss.

“Tania’s baby was born at 20 weeks gestation and she was wrapped in a blue Chux cloth — that’s all she had to remember her by,” Miss Coan said.

“She started Angel Baby Nappies because she said ‘there’s got to be something better’.”

The women make dignity nappies for stillborn “angel babies” so parents have something physical to remind them of their child.

The nappies are donated to hospitals across Australia in sets of two — one for the baby and one as a keepsake.

The pair said they were a small gesture to help parents through the grieving process.

“These nappies gives parents something to hold and take home, a keepsake that shows how big the baby was,” Miss Coan said.

“It obviously doesn’t stop the grieving but it’s something.”

There are 2000 requests a year for the nappies and, to meet demand, Miss Coan will hold her first sewing bee at the Hume Public School hall on Sunday from 10am to 3pm.

She already has 25 volunteers to help with the sewing and hopes that will increase that to at least 50 on the day.

“It would be great if we could make 100 sets of nappies, enough to supply two hospitals,” she said.

Miss Coan makes the nappies five days a week, paying for them herself. She is determined to produce 2000 of them by the end of the year.

She has sent off 500 nappies this year and has 172 waiting to go. Some will go to the maternity ward at Wodonga hospital.

Miss Coan said each package cost $22 to send and donations of material, sewing supplies, scissors, studs and money were appreciated.

“If you can sew, but don’t have a machine, we want you to help,” she said.

“People can trace templates, cut fabric and stud the nappies.”

Anyone wanting to help or donate can contact Miss Coan on 0434 526 867.