Pēpi-Pods launched at the Women’s

Leah Percival with baby Daniel
Leah Percival had her baby Daniel at the Women's and used the Pēpi-Pod
24 September 2019 | Pregnancy and newborns

Women at the Royal Women’s Hospital now have the option of using a new type of cot for their newborn babies to keep them closer and safer in their first few days of life.

After a successful pilot, the ‘First Days’ Pēpi-Pods are now being offered to mums in the maternity wards as an alternative to the standard cot. The Women’s is one of the first hospitals in Australia to do this.  

The Pēpi-Pods are small, plastic tubs that are purpose-built to create a safe sleep place and keep mums and babies closer together.

The Pēpi-Pods are produced in New Zealand where, as part of a public health program, they have contributed to preventing infant deaths particularly in the Maori population and are now used in maternity hospitals nationally.

Anita Moorhead, clinical midwife at the Women’s, heard of the Pēpi-Pod’s positive impact and successfully pitched the idea of introducing them here through the Women’s Ideas Tank initiative.

Anita said: “The Pēpi-Pod is a fantastic product and I’m really pleased that we’re now able to offer them to mums at the Women’s.

“We see women who have had caesareans or tears and they aren’t able to move around easily after their birth, so the Pēpi-Pods are a great way of keeping their baby within easy reach.”

Leah Percival had her baby Daniel at the Women’s and was offered a Pēpi-Pod to use during her stay. This is what she had to say:

Carol Scott has been a midwife for over 16 years and at the Women’s for the last two of those years.

“I think women will be really happy the offer of the Pēpi-Pods, because they like to have choices. Perhaps they have not had the pregnancy or birth that they had planned - but when our women are given extra choices, they are given more control of their experience. Not everyone is going to want to use it, but I think lots will,” Carol said.

Pēpi-Pods are being used in maternity wards at Parkville with the Women’s at Sandringham soon to roll them out.

The Women's would like to thank the creator of Pēpi-Pod, Stephanie Cowan, who generously loaned the Pēpi-Pods to the Women’s to conduct the initial pilot.

The Women's would also like to thank the sponsors for the Ideas Tank initiative: HESTA, BankVic and the Women’s Foundation. The funding gives staff the opportunity to pitch their ideas to improve patient experience.

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