A mother who lost her stillborn son has raised around £3,500 to help parents in similar situations to say their goodbyes to their child.

Laura Hughes, 30, from Leavesden was devastated in October 29 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.

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.

Watford Observer: Laura and Steve were able to grieve with a cuddle cotLaura and Steve were able to grieve with 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.

Following their loss, the couple decided to hold a raffle to give more cuddle cots to Watford General Hospital and help parents in similar situations.

Around £3,500 was raised and on Jesse’s first birthday this year, the couple donated a cuddle cot, 10 essential bags of toiletries, 10 blankets, 10 books, a wireless speaker and 15 vouchers for hand and foot casts of the passed babies.

Watford Observer: The items were donated during Jesse's first birthdayThe items were donated during Jesse's first birthday

Previously speaking to the Observer, Mrs Hughes said: “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.”