A mother who lost her stillborn son is hoping to help parents in similar situations say their goodbyes to their child.

Laura Hughes, 30, from Leavesden, was devastated in October when she found out her 32-week unborn son Jesse had lost his heartbeat.

On October 17, Mrs Hughes woke up in the bed of her two-year-old Charlie, feeling a sharp pain and sensing that she was unable to feel Jesse moving about in her body.

The concerned mother rushed to Watford General Hospital to check what was wrong, holding on to hope that everything was okay.

As nurses checked for Jesse’s heartbeat, Mrs Hughes broke down in tears straight away understanding that they were unable to find it.

She said: “The worst had happened, something I hadn’t even imagined.

“I’ll never be able to explain that pain and I’d do anything for no one else to ever have to feel it again.”

After two days at home, Mrs Hughes returned to the Rose Room at the hospital to give birth to her stillborn son on October 19.

Watford Observer:

Laura with Jesse Photo: Remember My Baby

In coping with the tragic news, she said: “It’s difficult, as there’s not a generic answer in how you deal with something like this. You just take the time to get through it. It’s been over a month and it does get easier, but you can’t forget what happened.”

Despite their baby being stillborn, Mrs Hughes and her husband Steve still managed to spend some time with Jesse thanks to the help of a cuddle cot.

A cuddle cot is a cooling pad placed inside the bed of a deceased baby, which keeps the body cool and preserves its appearance.

Bereaved parents can then use the cuddle cot to get some closure with their child and help deal with their grief.

She explained: “One of the main reasons we wanted to do this was to raise awareness. It's not talked about enough and a lot of people feel very awkward about it all.

"At the end of the day, he's still our son and we talk about him just as we would talk about Charlie. It really helps when people say his name, it means hell of a lot.

"If we didn’t do this, I know we would have regretted it.

“We stayed in the other room for a while until we were ready to meet him, and we stayed there for a few hours – some people can even stay for days.

“But personally, I just wanted to go back to my son (Charlie), so we said our goodbyes.”

Watford Observer:

Steve with Jesse Photo: Remember My Baby

Mrs Hughes admits that the couple were unaware of the concept of a cuddle cot before this, but believes it is an important utility to use as a coping mechanism for loss.

She added: “Our lovely midwife dressed Jesse and spoke to him like she would any other baby. They have some clothing for tiny babies as ours were far too big.

“Footprints and handprints are taken for you and placed in a memory box, along with one of two teddy bears.

“We were given as much time as we liked with Jesse and we are so grateful to every single midwife that took care of us during our stay. We absolutely cannot thank them enough. “

It has only been three months since the passing of Jesse, but Mrs Hughes was amazed by the support she received from the midwives and bereavement midwife during her grief.

The couple have talked to other parents in similar situations through Instagram.

Mr Hughes has also been in contact with Ross Coniam, a Watford dad who raised over £55,000 for stillbirth and miscarriage charities after the neonatal death of his daughter Norah.

Now the couple have raised over £2,379 to help Watford General Hospital receive another cuddle cot and to further support the bereavement room.

On average a cuddle cot costs £1,500, so any additional money raised will go towards the hospital.

To raise the money, a raffle is being held on @raffleforjesse where people who donate to their JustGiving page can win various children clothes and gifts donated from Watford businesses.

To enter the raffle, visit the JustGiving page here.