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Babies were potentially exposed to serious health risks when a NSW hospital mix-up saw newborns given to the wrong mothers to breastfeed.

The Daily Telegraph reports that at least seven babies were affected by the incidents, which occurred in public hospitals between 2011 and 2015. The NSW government have admitted that more babies could have been impacted because it does not have records for the private system.

Opposition Health Spokesman Walt Secord called the situation “every new mum’s worst nightmare” and called on the government to release the names of the hospital’s responsible.

“The community has a right to know. This is the human cost of the massive cuts to the health and hospital system,” he said.

Western Sydney University Professor of midwifery Hannah Dahlen said the risk of diseases being transmitted through breastmilk was low but the psychological impact cold be significant.

“It can be everything from ‘oh my God, I was feeling connected and attached to this child that wasn’t mine, what kinds of mother am I?,'” Professor Dahlen said.

Health Minister Jillian Skinner said it was “extremely rare” for a baby to be handed to the wrong mother, with almost 100,000 babies born in NSW hospitals each year.

She said in each case the error was “soon discovered”.

Stefanie Phillips, 22, of Bateau Bay was stunned when her newborn daughter Ellie was mistakenly given to another mother to breastfeed in Gosford Hospital last year.

“It really does shock me,” she said.

“I think the lack of midwives is really the problem … if they are short-staffed the government has to do something about it.

“It hit me ­afterwards. It tore me up.

“I would not want this to happen to another mother, especially a first-time mother.”

Share your thoughts below.

 

Image – stock photo

  • yeah so horrible for those mothers! at least it was sorted out though! hopefully this won’t happen again

    Reply

  • I can’t believe this happened.how devasting for the mother’s.
    My daughter was with me the whole time thank goodness

    Reply

  • Seriously, how can they get it so wrong?

    Reply

  • What a terrible mix up! I wouldn’t be happy at all if that had happened to me.
    Luckily my daughter was with me all the time while in hospital, day and night.

    Reply

  • Some hospitals have a policy of leaving the babies in with the Mums. However if you aren’t in a private room and sharing or in a ward, that may not be practical because of the other patients.
    A few years ago when I had my appendics removed the Maternity Section was overflowing so some of the Mums were tansferred to general wards down on the next floor and their babies were brought down to them at feed times and visiting hours. As soon as there was a private room available they were moved into that so they had more privacy and have their baby with them. All babies have name tags on them so there should never be an error. I had my doubts re the accuracy of scales used for adults though. One Mum who went on the scales a few soon after giving birth according to the scales weighted more than when she was admitted.

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  • Lke kd

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