Breastfeeding mixup poses serious risks to newborn child

In August, parents in California were told that another woman had breastfed their premature baby boy. It was an accident that was caused when a nurse brought the newborn to the wrong mother. Only a few months later, another report surfaced involving a similar baby mix-up in Texas.

The thought that someone else provided milk to your child could leave any mother in shock, but this type of situation poses a far greater risk than that. A woman could pass diseases or infection onto a newborn baby that doesn’t yet have the ability to fight them.

In the most recent case from Texas, tests taken to discover any disease that could have been transferred have proved negative, having thus far not raised a serious health issue. However, the long-term consequences still remain unknown.

The hospital in which the mistake occurred has taken corrective steps, including conducting an internal investigation and terminating the nurse responsible for the baby’s care.

For the California couple mentioned above, their boy has serious allergies that they believe could have been the result of the switch. In another case from 2012, the family was concerned that their child could have developed HIV or hepatitis, diseases that could have been passed from the other woman.

Having a baby is supposed to be the happiest time in a mother’s life. Constant worry comes with the job, but it shouldn’t be the result of medical malpractice. When a child suffers an injury from medical negligence such as this one, those in San Francisco have the right to seek recompense for damage that has been caused.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Parents Horrified After Hospital Mixup Allows Their Baby To Be Breastfed By Stranger,” Jan. 11, 2014

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