Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute (CGBI)

CGBI: Breastfeeding Exclusive September 2018- Couplet Care Bassinet

Unmet needs: Pain points with standard bassinets contribute to risk

Drs. Kristin Tully, Carl Seashore, Alison Stuebe and Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute Director Catherine Sullivan are

developing an infant bassinet for use in hospitals. The Couplet Care Bassinet™ is designed to facilitate safer and more convenient mother-newborn rooming-in.

The first phase of the human-centered design project was funded by the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute (IHHAR41602), from 2016-18. The initial prototyping was informed by research by Tully and colleagues on side-car bassinets that are available in some hospitals overseas, an online survey, and in-person engagement with mothers and health care providers. North Carolina State University graduate students and faculty developed initial prototypes in collaboration with the UNC investigators and the industrial design firm Trig Innovation.

Trig Innovation collaborated with UNC to refine the design and manufacture the generation I prototype. An overview of the first phase of the project is available here.

The Couplet Care BassinetTM project team thank the mothers who provided in-person feedback on the first generation prototype in March 2018 at UNC Hospitals Hillsborough Campus. We are also appreciative of Karen Dorman, Amber Ivins, Marina Pearsall and the Hillsborough staff for the family-centered data collection partnership. Additionally, suggestions from national maternity leaders have been and continue to be a valued part of our design revision.

The Couplet Care BassinetTM is getting closer to becoming a reality. We are excited to be a part of environmental enhancement and cultural change to better serving the health needs of new mothers and their infants together.

The patent process is underway in collaboration with the UNC Office of Technology Commercialization, Blackstone Entrepreneurs Don Holzworth and Kevin Bowles, and Trig Innovation. We are deeply appreciative of support the project is receiving on multiple levels. Guidance from UNC faculty, staff and others throughout the UNC Chapel Hill and Triangle communities has been a critical part of ‘doing this right.’

Current funding includes the Gillings Entrepreneurship Award through the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute, and donor gifts. Dr. Tully is also Principal Investigator on a Biotechnology Innovation Award (2018-BIG-6527) from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. Ty Hagler of Trig Innovation and Dr. Tully are Co-Principal Investigators on the Small Business Research Innovation Grant (SBIR) Phase 1 Award (R43HD097017) through the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health, to develop of the Couplet Care BassinetTM to support safe implementation of skin-to-skin contact and rooming-in on postnatal units.

The Couplet Care BassinetTM will positively shift maternity care, for immediate change and with scale-up and implementation support to establish a better approach for generations to come. To learn more or express interest, please see