newborn swaddled

‘After my son was born they brought me a girl instead and argued with me’

Giving birth is stressful enough. But this mom had to fight to get her baby after a nurse handed her the wrong newborn. That’s the last thing any parent would want, especially right after a delivery. So in a TikTok video, Becky Martin explained her disturbing story. To make matters worse, it happened twice, after her eldest son and second child were born. “I actually have had my babies switched by the hospital, not just once but twice,” she said in her video. [1]

Advertisement

After the First Son Was Born

After her first delivery, Becky was breastfeeding her newborn when the nurses came ‘to return her baby’. “With my first, they wheeled in a baby boy and they were like ‘we fed your baby for you’, and I was like ‘I’m breastfeeding’.” 

The nurses immediately realized their mistake and admitted: “Sorry, wrong baby.” This is a strange occurrence as it is. She didn’t think she would have to worry about it repeating at her second birth. 

Advertisement
@becky.0121 #stitch with @marieeliza #switched #switchedatbirth #hospital #hospitalbirth #obgyn #homebirth #momsoftiktok #momsofmany #babies #fyp #ASOSFashunWeek ♬ Up – Cardi B

Read: Nurse Adopted a NICU Preemie Who Didn’t Have a Single Visitor For 5 Months

Advertisement

Then It Happened Again

With my second, they wheeled in a baby girl and were like ‘here’s your daughter’.” We were like ‘she’s already in the room with us’.” At this time, Becky had enough. “Once was an accident but twice was a pattern.

When it came to her third and youngest child, Becky refused to let the baby out of her sight when the nurses wanted to take him away for testing. “Of course, they fought us on it. The charge nurse came in and said [they] had to take that baby out to do testing. I said… Well, you can either do it in my room or I’ll accompany you to the lab, or we’ll do it or we’ll do it at his first doctor’s appointment,” she said in the video.

The nurses had no choice but to give in, but one of them told her obstetrician-gynecologist, who mocked the mother. “That’s right Becky, we’re all trying to steal your baby.

Advertisement

“If you ever wonder what pushes a woman to become an advocate of homebirth, that’s one of many reasons,” Becky concluded. [2]

The video now has over three million views, and many parents in the comments began to express doubts about their own kids. “Now I’m wondering if my kids are actually my kids,” one commenter wrote.

“I’m not kidding. I’ve always thought about this, I’ll be putting a big Sharpie on their feet or hands to be sure,” another wrote.

Moreover, many women contributed similar stories. One mother said, “When my son was born, they brought me a girl, and I said ‘I had a boy’… a nurse came in and said ‘I was in your delivery.’ I’ve never seen you before in my life.

Another wrote: “My mum had to go look for my little brother after she gave birth and found him with a lady down the hall.

Unfortunately, baby mix-ups do happen, and not all are caught immediately like in Becky Martin’s case. However, these are ways to prevent this.

Advertisement

How to Avoid a Baby Mix-Up

Most hospitals have tight protocols to stop these kinds of mistakes, such as identification bands. However, these systems are always subject to human error. Unfortunately, there’s no way to know the exact statistics of baby switches since some hospitals don’t keep track or keep this information private. [3]

Advertisement

Therefore, it’s best to stay proactive in the hospital with these precautions:

Advertisement
  • Have a partner or friend accompany the baby whenever they are taken out of the hospital room.
  • Ask the nurses to match the bands out loud instead of you looking at them on your own. Additionally, ask to see the official ID tag of the individual asking to take the baby.
  • Keep your baby in your hospital room instead of letting them go into the hospital’s nursery. This will help you learn more about baby care techniques and get more sleep.
  • Buy a distinct outfit, blanket, or hat to dress the newborn in so they are easy to identify.
  • Similarly, take a picture or a mental note of the baby and any identifying marks, like birthmarks, amount of hair, or some other distinguishing feature.
  • Have all of the examinations take place in your hospital room. This will allow you to keep an eye on the newborn while asking any questions that come up. [4]

There is only a small chance of a baby switch, but these precautions are simple and easy to implement. Listening to mothers and keeping an eye on the babies are really all they boil down to. 

Advertisement

Keep Reading: A mom’s heartbreaking letter to the doctor who never ‘told her the truth’ about her baby.

Advertisement

Sources

  1. Becky Martin. TikTok. February 27, 2021
  2. “TikToker mum explains how she had her babies switched at the hospital twice.Times Now News. May 13, 2021
  3. “How Often Are Babies Switched at Birth?.Very Well Family. Chauni Brusie, RN and Adah Chung. December 2, 2020
  4. “The Reality of Hospital Baby Switching.Very Well Family. Robin Elise Weiss, PhD, MPH. January 11, 2021
Sarah Biren
Freelance Writer
Sarah is a baker, cook, author, and blogger living in Toronto. She believes that food is the best method of healing and a classic way of bringing people together. In her spare time, Sarah does yoga, reads cookbooks, writes stories, and finds ways to make any type of food in her blender.
Advertisement