A Melbourne mother who sadly gave birth to a stillborn baby has been refused a full refund on a cot and an unused gift voucher, despite explaining to the retailers her circumstances.
Belinda Ainley’s son, Ash, was stillborn on Easter Sunday at 38 weeks.
She says that being discharged from hospital and accessing bereavement payments from Centrelink has added to her trauma, let alone being denied a refund on items for her son.
When she contacted the independent retailer in Melbourne that sold her the $611 cot and accessories, she was told that because it did not have the original packaging and would need to be resold as a used item, she would not be able to get her money back.
“There was no compassion from the people that work in industries that are supposed to be all about babies,” she told
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She was also told by a major clothing retailer that they would not allow her to return a $100 gift card because it was against store policy.
"You're left feeling like you not only don't have your baby, but that you don't count because everybody feels too awkward to talk about it and so nothing happens."
Eventually, Ms Ainley’s sister-in-law suggested selling the cot on a private buy-and-sell Facebook group when a member of the group – a stranger to both women – launched a crowd funding campaign.
Now, Ms Ainley is planning on donating the money raised from the crowdfunding campaign to stillbirth charity SANDS and Heartfelt, an organisation of volunteer photographers who lend their skills to families whose children have died.
The cot will also be donated to St Kilda Mums.
“Taking it back to that shop was going to be so hard for me, but instead parting with it is turning into something that's going to be a really good moment," she said.
Image via Adrienne Gilligan for Heartfelt