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Hopsital mix-up and over-reaction (IMO) to accidental breastfeeding

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Baby is breast-fed by wrong woman at Virginia Hospital Center

"On top of that, to find that another mother breast-fed him, without my knowledge, without my consent, was horrid. . . . He was exposed to someone else's body fluid."

Horrid? Really?

I agree that the hospital misplacing the baby is unconscionable, even horrid, but does anybody else find the mom's reaction to the breastfeeding a bit ridiculous? And then for the reporter to play up this angle over the misplacing of the baby? It seems a bit much and only results in undermining breastfeeding by associating it with fear and disease.

post #2 of 32
I wouldn't have called it horrid, but I'd certainly be squicked out if someone else breastfed my baby. I would prefer that he be fed a bottle of formula.

Not that I think formula is as good or better than breastmilk, because I don't. But it's the whole bodily fluids, intimate act thing.
post #3 of 32
I'm a die hard breastfeeding mother, and with my first, a wrong baby was brought to me in the hospital. I tried to nurse him and who knows what happened to my own little guy during the mix up. I was absolutely panicked (a) knowing I had tried to nurse a baby who wasn't my own, not knowing his own medical background and (b) not knowing if a stranger with an unknown medical history had tried to breastfeed my own baby. Unless you've been in their shoes, I don't think you can really judge their reaction. I was horrified that the babies were mixed up and would have been upset no matter what they fed him.
post #4 of 32
i think it's a bit of an overreaction. but i live in Ontario, where we room-in with our babies. i am SO grateful for that!! there is very little room for a baby switch where i live. maybe that is something that should be considered more in the US?
post #5 of 32
I would be upset, too-- what drugs, foods, possible medical issues does the other mother have, I'd be thinking...

But it's true, formula is given w/o consent a lot and doesn't make the news.
post #6 of 32
My FIL works at that hospital.....

I do think it's an overreaction. I can see where it would be unsettling. But, it's not THAT big of a deal, definitely not something to pursue with such seriousness.

And if my baby had been fed formula, then, yes, you better believe I would have made a stink about it.

This is one of those times when I'm extra glad my kids are biracial and don't look like other babies, and also that I never allowed my babies to go to the nursery or be away from DH or I. No mix-ups possible.
post #7 of 32
I have to admit- I would be pissed if that happened to me/my baby. You have no idea what is in that mothers body (just for example.... if you had a drug free birth because you had huge concerns about drugs being passed to the baby through breastmilk but the other mother had all those drugs you worried about).

But I also agree- the real issue is the mix-up of the babies. That was my biggest fear when I had ds. He roomed in with me almost the entire time (except the day after he was born for about 30 minutes while I took a shower because his UAV "dad" refused to stay in the hospital for 30 minutes to watch him while I took a shower so ds went to the nursery).
post #8 of 32
Thread Starter 
It was one feeding, by a newborn. The likelihood is so small and breastmilk, well probably colostrum in this case, is so robust. I think you make sure the other mom doesn't have gaping sores on her and move on. Keep things in perspective that your baby was found.

Also, I don't understand calling it an intimate act. That makes it sound a little too extreme to me and seems to be the opposite of what lactivists work for when we are trying to normalize it with any other type of feeding. Yes, there are many benefits to the child beyond feeding but it is still just feeding a baby. If we want to make this the norm, it needs to be talked about that way.

In any case, the fear-based reporting is the worst part of this whole incident. That she goes on and on about the horrors of other babies being nursed or almost nursed by other moms is excessive. I would rather take my odds on the cross-nursing than a host of other possibilities with an actual significant risk.
post #9 of 32
I would describe the incident in the same way she did. I do not want anyone else nursing my child.
post #10 of 32
I would call that an overreaction. but i would happily cross-nurse with friends and would accept wet-nursing or donor EBM before i used formula, so unless the other woman was sick with something terrible (not very likely - mama's with things their babies would possibly contract through the milk generally aren't BFing and would therefore give the switched baby formula) i would probably laugh it off (the BFing, NOT the hospital's inability to care properly for its charges!).

However, if it means more people consider/demand homebirth and/or rooming in becomes a norm so this can't happen, then i'm all for it being "horrid".

I don't really get the "body fluids" angle - you don't need a photos and copy of the veterinary history of the cow when you buy milk at the market, right? Milk is milk, unless it's from a woman, then it's a potentially disgusting body fluid? Funny how milk from a smelly old cow is seen as wholesome, good and pure by so many people, when milk from our own species is seen as something suspect or revolting.
post #11 of 32
If you read the article, she was. Even though I don't like the article's overall tone; I have nothing but sympathy for this mom.

To first loose your child, and then put him to your breast and have him refuse to nurse was heartbreaking to me as a new mama. to know that he was feeding on someone elses breast would have made me even sadder.

I would have been livid if anyone had fed my child formula, and the same goes for another women's breastmilk, when I was trying to give him the best-- my milk.
post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonJelly View Post
Also, I don't understand calling it an intimate act.
If I have to undress to do it, it's an intimate act.
post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by VillageMom6 View Post
If I have to undress to do it, it's an intimate act.
Hmm. I never got naked to nurse my kids. I show more skin at the beach, and I don't consider swimming or sunbathing with my friends to be intimate acts.

Yeah, I understand being icked out by what possible germs/meds are in that other woman's body. But at the same time, we as a culture are speaking from privilege when we say "I would never want someone else to nurse my baby." We know that, in the rare instance we'd be unable to nurse, alternative food sources are available.

My grandfather was nursed by his aunt as an infant. His mother was incredibly sick and wasn't producing. I'm glad he got breastmilk instead of goat milk or that Carnation/Karo combination lots of babies got in those days.
post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by texmati View Post
If you read the article, she was. Even though I don't like the article's overall tone; I have nothing but sympathy for this mom.

To first loose your child, and then put him to your breast and have him refuse to nurse was heartbreaking to me as a new mama. to know that he was feeding on someone elses breast would have made me even sadder.

I would have been livid if anyone had fed my child formula, and the same goes for another women's breastmilk, when I was trying to give him the best-- my milk.
I didn't see it anywhere saying she was breastfeeding, only that another mom breastfed her newborn.
post #15 of 32
It is an intimate act. Time after time on the boards, I read about how BFing is a special bonding relationship and when something like this happens, all of a sudden it is "oh it is just feeding." I don't view it that way. I would take donor milk, but unless the situation was dire, I would never let someone put my child to their breast. This woman's feelings are valid and I find it sad that she is being told she is overreacting.
post #16 of 32
Uh, okay... I've been lactating for 10 years straight with five exclusively bf'ed babies and I would be incredibly po'ed if this happened.

And it isn't a matter of never wanting someone else to feed my babies, but of not knowing this other mother at all, not knowing her history, etc...
post #17 of 32
Another reason to get rid of nurseries and room in all babies. New moms and babies should be seen as a unit! I can't imagine letting my newborn baby out of my touch, let alone my sight. How horrible for both mothers, and babies.

That said, I would rather a stranger breastfeed my little guy than give him formula. Of course, I realise that neither would happen so that's easy for me to say. I birthed at home, and when he had to be admitted to hospital several weeks later, I'm the mom who wore her baby to the washroom rather than leave him alone in his hospital room...
post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatioGardener View Post
Another reason to get rid of nurseries and room in all babies. New moms and babies should be seen as a unit! I can't imagine letting my newborn baby out of my touch, let alone my sight. How horrible for both mothers, and babies.

That said, I would rather a stranger breastfeed my little guy than give him formula. Of course, I realise that neither would happen so that's easy for me to say. I birthed at home, and when he had to be admitted to hospital several weeks later, I'm the mom who wore her baby to the washroom rather than leave him alone in his hospital room...
I am against getting rid of nurseries. When I delivered my first, I was in labor for over 24 hours. I had no sleep and was in no way capable of tending to a baby. I welcomed the help of the nursery. It is not horrible for mothers and babies. It can be helpful and warranted when the mother needs a little rest so she can regroup after labor.
post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post
But at the same time, we as a culture are speaking from privilege when we say "I would never want someone else to nurse my baby." We know that, in the rare instance we'd be unable to nurse, alternative food sources are available.
I don't necessarily think that's true. If I was unable to nurse my child I would want him to get breastmilk from somewhere.... but I would make sure I trusted the source! Not just some woman who happened to give birth in the same hospital at the same time!

My ds and my oldest sisters ds were born weeks apart. My sister had supply issues. I had over-supply (seriously had bags of frozen breastmilk going to waste). I gave my milk to my sister who used a SNS to feed it to her son. If roles were reversed I would have accepted breastmilk from her in an instant. If something happened to me (accident, whatever) and I wasn't able to nurse my son I would hope she would have done it (if she had oversupply issues, obviously I wouldn't want her to take breastmilk away from her son to give to mine). If something had happened to her, I would have nursed her son without blinking an eye (or pumped for him if he didn't accept me nursing him).

But I know and trust my sister. I don't know and trust some random person who just happens to be a couple rooms down from me in a hospital. Two totally different scenarios.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama~Love View Post
I didn't see it anywhere saying she was breastfeeding, only that another mom breastfed her newborn.
On page 4 of the article....

Quote:
Libby knew she wanted to nurse as soon as possible. She breast-fed him two hours after the birth and several more times, recording the feedings on a clipboard hanging from his bassinet.
Quote:
At 6:30 p.m., Libby tried to feed Spencer, but he wouldn't eat. That's when she noticed the feeding log had an entry of 5:43 p.m., in someone else's handwriting.
post #20 of 32
over reacted? No way, i'd flip out if that happend to us. I don't want my newborns mouth on anyones body. thank you very much. disgusting. and yes, i was a bf'ing mother.
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