Kristy is a finalist for Midwife of the Year in the 2020 HESTA Australian Nursing & Midwifery Awards. She works at St John of God Mt Lawley Hospital in Mount Lawley, WA.
Kristy Wiegele is recognised for her work with cuddle cots to improve care and support for grieving parents who have experienced pregnancy loss. After supporting a young family in 2014 who were unable to spend time with their stillborn son, Kristy was inspired to raise funds to purchase a cuddle cot for the hospital. A cuddle cot circulates refrigerated air continuously underneath the baby bassinet, allowing parents to spend more time with and grieve their stillborn babies. Kristy raised the $4000 needed to purchase the cot in just 10 days. Kristy has since personally raised $85,000 to purchase more cuddle cots – enough for nearly every maternity hospital in Western Australia. Her partnership with the WA Department of Health has also seen the contribution of a further $39,200 for another eight cots.
Kristy continues to raise awareness of perinatal loss and stillbirth through her advocacy, education and fundraising. She travels in her own time and at her own expense across the state to personally deliver the cuddle cots and to educate other midwives on their use. She also runs cuddle cot education sessions at hospitals and continues to raise awareness of pregnancy loss through conference presentations and specialist panel discussions. Kristy also educates and mentors other midwives to provide perinatal loss support, and she has commenced a perinatal loss specialist program at St John of God Mt Lawley Hospital. Her expertise, compassion and dedication have been celebrated by her peers and by the families for whom she cares.