Guest Blogger, Mom of 2 & Founder of Cuddles for Clefts, Krista Pietersma

Based on True Events

Please note:

The content is NOT intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your pediatrician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

How We Began...

We were so excited when we first found out we were expecting our second child. My first pregnancy was pretty normal without many concerns and I expected the second time around to be no different. At our 19 week anatomy scan we got a peek at our second baby boy! More and more time passed as we waited for the Doctor. I didn’t think anything of it as they were often backed up so I told my husband to head back to work and I would check in after I saw the Doctor.

Cuddles for Clefts

I will never forget that day, sitting in the room and my Doctor telling me my son would be born with a cleft lip and suspected cleft palate. I was in shock. There was nothing to stop the flood of tears. The Doctor told me that it all could be fixed with surgery and as he opened the door to let me out he told me I would want to pick a strong name for my son.

Cuddles for Clefts

I walked out of the office that day broken. All I really knew concerning clefts were the T.V. commercials asking for support for children overseas who needed surgery. I felt so alone and overwhelmed. I happened to connect with a fellow mom in my community that also had a cleft affected daughter. Through her, my eyes were opened to the cleft community. An incredible community of people all walking their own journey in some way. It was a member of this community that reached out and sent us a care package before our son headed into his first operation at 4 months old. It was at that moment I didn’t feel so alone anymore.

 Cuddles for Clefts

Cuddles for Clefts was founded with that mission in mind. It’s not about the material things that are received in the package but our hope is that a much deeper meaning is felt. We hope that we can help be a source of comfort and support as you or someone you love undergoes a cleft related operation. We hope that we can come along side you and remind you there are others walking the same journey. There are others who care and you are never alone.

Sponsor a Baby

It was through my journey with Cuddles for Clefts that I met Jennifer Stelmakh with CozeeCoo. I immediately saw the value and teamed up to create a Sponsor Program for families in need of a more comfortable restraint option (often worn for 2-6 weeks) post cleft lip and/or palate repair surgery. We were able to provide nearly 400 CozeeCoos to families in need across the globe before the termination of the program in early 2023. We continue to spread Cozeecoo's awareness to our customers through our Cuddle Packs and Diagnosis Packages.

Cuddles for Clefts

 To learn more about Cuddles for Clefts and our Cuddle Packs please visit our FAQ’s page. If at any time you have any questions or if you just need someone to talk to who is also navigating this journey please don’t hesitate to contact us!


Krista Pietersma
Founder at Cuddles for Clefts

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Curious about CozeeCoo®'s full story? Please check it out.


 Jennifer Stelmakh
CEO | Founder | Inventor at CozeeCoo® 

Helping babies thrive.

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