Mother Breastfeeds the Wrong Baby Thanks to Horrible Hospital Mix-Up

Say What!? 113

baby The mother of a baby switched in a Minnesota hospital this week is understandably upset about the switch. But that's not what has Tammy Van Dyke really all hot and bothered. The newborn boy was breastfed by the wrong mother!

Think that's no big deal? For a second, I was right there with you. So she breastfed him, so what? At least it was a kind and loving moment. Except ... let's think about what happens when you breastfeed a baby.

You are giving that baby breast milk, something made by your body. You're giving the baby all sorts of good things: antibodies to diseases. But if you have something not so good in your body -- say an actual disease -- you've just put the baby at risk.

In Cody's case, he was taken into the room of a woman who had just given birth to twins. The other (wrong) mother started to breastfeed, but something felt off. So she took the baby boy off her breast and checked his name tag. He wasn't hers!

The switch was solved pretty quickly, but because breastfeeding had been initiated, Tammy's son has already had to undergo blood tests for HIV and hepatitis. That means additional needles going into this teeny, weeny little guy. And he's going to have even more as the months go on; he'll have to be tested again and again over the next few years.

As a mother, that's nerve-wracking. It's not just the fear of disease (although that is obviously the biggest concern), but the thought of your baby being put through additional pain over and over. I remember holding my daughter for her lead test, and seeing the needle coming at her tiny arm put tears in my eyes. We're supposed to protect our kids from pain, not have to sit there and watch it happen.

Would you be freaked if another mother breastfed your baby? What would bother you the most?


Image via limaoscarjuliet/Flickr

baby health, breastfeeding


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nonmember avatar Lilac

So I guess the mother who breast fed the baby already had HIV and hepatitis. Why else would a healthy mother who breast fed a child not her own would then make it so the baby needs extra blood testes for years?

ethan... ethans_momma06

I seriously wouldn't be 'freaked' although, in the case of a complete stranger, I would be unhappy that he had to undergo so many new tests for his safety.

This keeps happening.

I wonder, in hospitals...if your baby leaves your side... do you REALLY not recognize them when they come back? That just seems weird to me.

Karan Boczkay

wouldnt hospital know if other mother had aids or hep?

littl... littlebabybliss

Trying to scare people much? Milk sharing is a wonderful thing. There isn't much that can be transmitted through breastmilk. And I highly doubt that a women infected with such things would put her own baby in danger,as they are all things you are tested for while pregnant.

Julie Schaefer Alldredge

Yeah! That's what I was thinking! Wouldn't they already know? And If not, couldn't they test the mother (The wrong mother) I don't get it.

nonmember avatar NoWay

Instead of testing the baby, why don't they just test the woman who did the breastfeeding? If she is not sick, she didnt' give anything to the baby. This doesn't make sense to me.

Momto... MomtoDavid

i know with each of my pregnancy's they took like 8 tubes of blood during the first visit to test for everything under the sun including HIV, and sexually transmitted diseases. And like someone say, the hospitol should know especially since your usually already registered at the hospitol of your choice.


nonmember avatar Katie

Scary that the mother had to be the one to realize the mistake. I don't understand went the baby would have to undergo bloodwork ... the mothers medical records should indicate off she has these diseases. Its not like rabies for petes sake!! I would be disappointed though if another woman got to share that first special moment with MY brand new baby.

Corrie Sheridan

The hospital we were in put a bracelet on baby and me and it made a little chime when we came together. And the nurses verified the bands every time they brought him back into the room. Seems like hospitals have options and ways to avoid this with today's technology and they SHOULD be using it! We sure pay enough for child birth at hospitals!

Rachel Zires

This is why birth does not belong in hospitals unless absolutely necessary

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