Follow The Stir

Mom Who Breastfed Wrong Baby Sues Hospital

by Cynthia Dermody on February 16, 2010 at 9:33 AM

hospital nursery ward

Breastfeeding another woman's baby isn't a big deal to a lot of moms. Selma Hayek made headlines when she nursed a sick infant in the Sierra Leone last year, and an entire community banded together to breastfeed a motherless infant for six months. Wet nurses have existed for eons.

A new mom in the Chicago area thinks breastfeeding another woman's baby is a huge deal, so much so that she's suing her delivering hospital for accidentally giving her another baby to breastfeed, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

In January 2008, the nurse woke Jennifer Spiegel at 4 a.m. and handed her a baby to breastfeed, which she did. The little boy was swaddled and wearing a cap, so Spiegel could not see the baby's hair. Eventually the nurse realized she'd given Spiegel the wrong baby, returned both babies to their rightful mothers, and gave a tearful apology.

But it was not enough, according to the woman's husband Scott Spiegel, an attorney. The couple is suing Evanston Hospital in Illinois for at least $30,000 in damages.

"It was just an awful, internal feeling," Jennifer Spiegel, a teacher, told the Sun-Times.

She says she doesn't want this to happen to anyone else. How would you feel if this happened to you? -- take the poll.

Question: How would you have reacted to the hospital giving you another mom's baby to breastfeed?
  1. I would have sued also. 10%
  2. I would have been upset, but mistakes happen. 58%
  3. It would not have bothered me. 24%
  4. Other 6%
Total Votes: 147
Voting on polls is not available on The Stir Mobile.

 

Have you ever breastfed another mom's baby? How is it different from nursing your own child?

 

Other posts you'll like:

Boob or Bottle? It's Not Always Black and White

The Science Behind Michelle Obama's Breastfeeding Message

Filed Under: breastfeeding, childbirth, in the news

Comments

41
  • kelli...
    --

    kelli0585

    February 16, 2010 at 10:46 AM

    Breastfeeding aside, I would be LIVID.  That's just not a mistake that should happen, period.  What if that nurse gave her the wrong baby to go home?

    Mistakes happen, but that one is just inexcusable.  I would have been terrified. 


  • nmmama09
    --

    nmmama09

    February 16, 2010 at 12:32 PM

    I would have been more than upset, I would have been angry, but I don't think I would be angry enough to sue.


  • ethan...
    --

    ethans_momma06

    February 16, 2010 at 12:41 PM

    I think the suing stems from someone seeing some easy money flowing their way. Damages? What damages?

    Do I understand why she was upset? Completely. Not everyone back in the day wet nursed, not everyone wanted to. But everyone who did it was completely prepared for it. It would be awkward, it would be upsetting but seriously... out of all the things that can happen in a hospital... this is pretty far from the worse.


  • Cafe...
    --

    Cafe Jenn

    February 16, 2010 at 1:01 PM

    When I gave birth to both my boys in two different hospitals.  There was pretty strict guidelines for when the baby was out of the room and came back in:  We had to match up the baby's ID with mine.  Even dad had his own.  Not once did something happen without that happening. 

    I would think in this day and age, this would be manadatory everywhere. 

    I chose other for what I would do because unless I was in that circumstance, I'm not sure I know what I would do.  I can see why she would be upset though. 


  • Iamgr...
    --

    Iamgr8teful

    February 16, 2010 at 1:25 PM

    I would have been more concerned about the fact that they got the babies mixed up than the fact that the wrong one was breastfed.  I think it's a bit extreme to sue the hospital, though.  I'm sure the nurse will never make that mistake again.


  • spamica
    --

    spamica

    February 16, 2010 at 1:56 PM

    I don't see any reason to sue unless someone got sick from it and in that case, it would be the baby's mom suing.


  • Peajewel
    --

    Peajewel

    February 16, 2010 at 2:23 PM

    I agree with those that say I would be more upset over the baby mix up than anything else.  I know when both my children were born (and they are 18 years apart) they had a lot of guidelines in place to avoid this from happening.  It seems as if the nurse did not do her job properly.  However, with that aside, I think it is just insane that people feel they should sue for every little thing that happens to them.  Everyone is looking for a quick buck and I think it is just stupid!  As soon as you said her husband was attorney it all made sense though, they are all about the money!


  • Cafe...
    --

    Cafe MicheleZ

    February 16, 2010 at 2:26 PM

    I would be more upset if my baby was breasfed by another woman in case that woman has anything that could be passed from her breast milk to my baby. Of course if everyone was healthy, then...

    BIG mistake by the hospital's part, yes.


  • Spiri...
    --

    SpiritedTigress

    February 16, 2010 at 4:26 PM

    Breastfeeding another baby would be no big deal to me, I'd do it if someone asked. Its just that... What if those women were going home?! They would have taken the wrong babies home! And what if one woman didnt want her baby to be vaccinated, and the vaccinated the wrong one and the baby had a reaction? The hospital would be screwed.

    I'd sue the bastards.


  • RanaA...
    --

    RanaAurora

    February 16, 2010 at 6:02 PM

    That's IDIOTIC.  Be concerned about being handed the WRONG BABY!  The breastfeeding has NOTHING to do with it.

    This is also why IF you give birth in a hospital, you should never let your baby out of your sight.


1-10 of 41 comments

To leave a comment, log in as a CafeMom member:

Log In

OR, use our non-member comment form: