Hospitals take every precaution to ensure newborns are protected and well cared for. Many hospitals in New York and across the country now provide high security in their maternity wings, and nurses tag babies with identification bracelets and tracking devices to prevent them from ending up in the wrong hands. Nevertheless, a mother in another state is suing a hospital for medical malpractice after her baby was given to the wrong mother.
Two babies were taken from the hospital nursery to the arms of new mothers for breastfeeding. One mother noticed that the band on the ankle of the child she was given did not match the identifying information on her own band. She called it to the attention of a nurse, who confirmed that the two babies had been given to the wrong mothers. The mother was then shocked to learn that her newborn had been nursed by the other mother.
The mother claims she suffered mental injury from the ordeal, and she is seeking $50,000 in damages. The hospital apparently admits that procedure for matching the identification bands was not followed. Hospital administrators have since instituted the use of electronic identification bands on newborns. The bands have a light that turns green when it matches the mother's identification bracelet.
Breastfeeding by another mother is not a new concept, and generations of babies in New York and across the world have used wet nurses with healthy results. In fact, one in every 25 mothers says she has nursed another mother's baby. Nevertheless, the birthing center and the nurse involved will need a strong defense. However, while the hospital supposedly admits its mistake, the burden will be on the mother to prove that the incident actually caused her emotional suffering.
Source: parentherald.com, "Switched At Birth: Hospital Facing $50,000 Lawsuit In Breastfeeding Mistake?", Alexa Ancheta, Dec. 10, 2016