Monday, July 18, 2011

It's still mother's milk

from w
I suppose the families weren't laughing but maybe they will a few years down the track, but at a Geelong hospital last Friday the wrong babies were given to mums who breast-fed them happily, until they discovered they were the wrong kids eight hours later! Well, that's no big deal I reckon, though the media blew it up as 'horrified', 'shocked' etc. Back in Fiji my third boy was fed by an auntie in the daytime when I was away teaching at a high school three days a week, and also my mother-in-law breastfed her own son and a cousin's son after the mother ran away - probably with some kind of anxiety disorder. It's still mother's milk! A mix-up didn't happen to me with one kid though as I was in a ward with an Indian girl, a Fijian girl and a Chinese girl and my kid was nearly 10 pounds in weight anyway.

from one of the Oz newspapers:
Mothers get wrong babies in hospital mix-up
Updated July 18, 2011 15:52:02

A Geelong hospital has apologised after two babies were given to the wrong mothers for breastfeeding. The St John of God Hospital says the babies were breastfed by the wrong mother on Friday morning. Hospital chief executive Stephen Roberts has told Fairfax radio, the "mix-up" has shocked the hospital.

"Babies had been taken from their cots in our special care nursery," he said. "There's been a breakdown in process. It appears that a name bracelet wasn't checked. And the babies were placed in incorrect cots."

The mistake was not discovered until a family member raised concerns eight hours later.

Mr Roberts says the families are upset and have been offered counselling.

"We're obviously deeply apologetic and regretful for the pain and concern that we've caused these families," he said.

The hospital says it is working to ensure the mix-up is not repeated.

Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu says he will ensure the mix-up is properly investigated. "Obviously that's an entirely unacceptable situation, to the extent that I can acknowledge that it happened, and I don't have the full details ... that's a matter than needs to be investigated and we'll be making sure it is," he said. "Obviously you'd be horrified, shocked."

Dr Jennifer James, a breastfeeding expert from RMIT says there is only a small chance of viruses being transferred through breast milk. She says the incident is unlikely to affect bonding between mother and baby. "Midwives like anybody else do make the occasional mistake," she said. "For me it highlights the importance of keeping mothers and babies together from birth.

"If babies were staying with their mothers then there wouldn't be any chance of that happening.

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Blogger annie said...

What a great story, Wendy. Such a big To Do by folks and press, when, as you say, sharing was done in the past. But I do agree that mothers and babies should be together in hospital from birth on, just as a general rule, because it is better for bonding and kinder to mothers and babies who want to be together.

6:47 AM  
Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Hello Annie,
Certainly the response in comments in the local newspaper show that many people have a horror of such a happening. There are certainly more tragic things than this one! Yes, bonding is the way to go, the baby beside you. In the Pacific babies usually sleep in bed with their mum and dad, not even in a cot.
Also,I put a story in the babasiga blog some time ago about 'switched at birth' and this was a big story - an Indian baby and a Fijian baby were accidentally swapped and it was only in the teenage years that the kids met their 'real' mums!

7:24 PM  

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