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Minnesota hospital brings newborn to wrong mother, baby breast fed by unfamiliar teat

The baby's first post-birth nourishment came from an unexpected source.
The baby's first post-birth nourishment came from an unexpected source.

What if the mother hadn't realized the hospital's mistake?

A newborn baby born at the Virginia Regional Medical Center a few weeks ago was brought to the wrong mother, who breast fed her for a few minutes before the error was identified.

In other words, the baby's first nourishment came from the teat of an unfamiliar woman who thought she was the was newborn's real mother.

According to the Mesabi Daily News, the hospital's mistake involved both procedural and human error. Virginia Regional uses an ID card system to match newborns with the appropriate mother, but this particular baby momma, for whatever reason, had her room changed after giving birth, and the switch wasn't noted on the baby's card.

Could the hospital's mix-up result in the baby developing some as-of-yet-unknown Freudian complex? In light of wet nursing, probably not.
Could the hospital's mix-up result in the baby developing some as-of-yet-unknown Freudian complex? In light of wet nursing, probably not.


A nurse was also supposed to double check both the newborn's and the mother's bracelets to make sure they matched, but failed to do so in this case.

So the newborn was brought to the wrong mother, who then proceeded to breast feed the infant for a few minutes before the mistake was identified. The baby's father was apparently so irate he took to Facebook to vent about the mistake, but Virginia Regional CEO Bill Smith told the Daily News that the father has "done some soul searching and dropped the whole issue."

Smith said the hospital is in the process of installing a digital baby-mother matching system that will hopefully prevent a mix-up like this from ever happening again.

"We apologized to both families. We have done the best we can do," Smith said.


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