Abbott Northwestern Hospital has issued an apology to one Apple Valley family after it was discovered that their newborn son had been mistakenly given to another mother for breastfeeding.
KMSP-TV reports that the Apple Valley mother, named only Tammy, spent most of the day in tears after finding out that her newborn son Cody had been accidentally breastfed by another woman. The mix-up was discovered at about 8:30 a.m. when Cody was taken to the other mother (who had just given birth to twins). The woman had just begun feeding, KMSP-TV reported, but felt that something was amiss. She checked the ID tag on the baby and sure enough the child was not hers. Officials at Abbott say that the babies had been placed in the wrong bassinets the night prior.
According to KMSP, Tammy has taken the news pretty hard.
"The mix-up alone has been traumatic, but the fact that another woman breastfed her son is horrifying to her," the TV station writes.
A simple mix-up like this can cause significant health problems down the road, in addition to psychological trauma, according to a report from Minnesota Public Radio. Breast-feeding may transfer illnesses to the newborn, including HIV and hepatitis.
Abbott officials told the Star Tribune that such incidents are rare.
"As far as we know, this has never happened before at Abbott," said Gloria O'Connell, a spokeswoman for the Minneapolis hospital.