Breastfeed Wrong Newborns? Mix-Up Causes Outrage

July 18, 2011
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The cliché becomes a reality: mothers breastfeed wrong newborns in hospital mix-up. Perhaps the biggest fear of any mother is to have their baby accidentally swapped at birth.


This story comes to us out of St. John of God Hospital in Geelong, Australia, where the staff mistakenly switched the name bracelets of two babies born around the same time. The infants were then brought to the incorrect women, who then proceeded to nurse and bond with them for the next several hours.

Luckily a family member started to suspect that something was awry, and voiced their concerns with hospital staff members. Eventually the problem was discovered, and the babies were returned to their rightful mothers. Now there are concerns over the ingestion of the wrong milk, which could lead to infection or other digestive problems.

Recent research shows that the first few hours after birth are some of the most important, irreplaceable moments of a mother-child relationship.

Amazingly, the baby even possess the ability to squirm its way up to the mother’s breast within minutes of birth. The pressure on the mother’s stomach can even help to stop after-birth bleeding.

With some much new data emerging on the topic, it is especially crucial to spend that time with your baby.

Many hospitals in the United States no longer remove the baby from the mother’s care unless a trip to the NICU is necessary. Even then, the father or a relative can observe most of what is happening through glass windows. The days of dragging a baby into the nursery are long gone in most places, so how could this happen?

I suppose this will be another argument for those who support home birth, eh?

If this was a case in the United States I’m sure there would be one hefty civil suit underway.

It is hard enough to breastfeed, wrong newborns or not. Should this mix-up lead to some kind of settlement?

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