When you give birth in a hospital and the nurse offers to take your baby to the nursery to give you a bit of rest, it’s only natural to have a fleeting sense of anxiety that you might not get your baby back, that somehow, the unthinkable might happen, and the baby they bring back might belong to someone else. Switched at birth, like the plot of a movie! Then you talk yourself down and realize that things like that don’t happen anymore, and you let your baby be whisked away while you get some much-needed rest.
For two Filipino families, though, that fleeting moment of anxiety turned out to be right on the money, according to SmartParenting.com.ph. Aprhil and Marvian Sifiata grew suspicious when a family member pointed out that the name tag their baby was wearing contained incorrect name and birthdate information, and the baby she was given looked different from a photo they after Aphril delivered her baby via C-section.
Both the Sifiatas, and the parents of the other baby, Margareth Traballo and Kim Jasper Mulleno, agreed to take DNA tests to confirm or disprove their parentage. When those tests came back showing no relation, the mothers took another DNA test to confirm the switch. The second set of DNA tests proved without a doubt that each mother was given the other’s baby. The monthlong agonizing saga has been chronicled by the TV show Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho, with the DNA reveal airing on Sunday.
The hospital has admitted to the mistake and is offering a refund for all charges incurred by both families during their stays. Yeah, we’d be asking for a little more than a refund, after that kind of scare.
“I’m still trying to wrap my head around everything that happened,” Traballo told GMA Network. “I feel overwhelmed. I’m very happy that I’ll finally be with my baby, and they can be with theirs. I’m very grateful. If it weren’t for KMJS, we wouldn’t know the truth.”
Now, while this switched-at-birth story may strike fear into the hearts of every expecting parent out there, we can all settle down and take a deep breath. Hospitals go out of their way to ensure things like this don’t happen. In many hospitals, newborns are fitted with sensors on soft wristbands soon after birth so their location can be tracked within the labor and delivery ward. Also, newborns are given identity wristbands that are snug enough to not slide off and that match the mother’s wristband. The bands are double-checked by nurses frequently throughout the hospital stay.
If a new parent is anxious about their newborn’s hospital stay, many hospitals allow full-time rooming in, and your baby stays with you at all times.
Times have changed and security in the maternity ward is tighter than ever. Switches are quite unlikely, like almost impossibly unlikely, so take a deep breath and know that your baby will be safe and sound.