New mom finds out in hospital that baby she's been caring for wasn't hers

Wednesday, April 17, 2024 – A new mum was left “absolutely terrified” after learning that the newborn baby she was caring for in the hospital was not actually her own child.

The shocking incident occurred last September at a hospital in Dorset, England where Maisie Beth, 22, had given birth.

She gave birth to a daughter named Isabelle but when she went to change her baby's diaper, she found out she had been given a baby boy.

“God knows what would’ve happened,” Beth told Caters News Agency on Wednesday, April 17.

“I could’ve breastfed this baby or the mom could’ve woken up to an empty crib.”

Explaining how the mix-up happened, Beth said that shortly after giving birth to baby Isabelle, midwives informed her that the infant needed phototherapy and would have to be placed in a special nursery. One night, Beth went to check on her newborn and found a midwife in an office holding a baby.

“The midwife came out of the office and told me to come in because they had Isabelle in there and I just assumed they taken her out with her phototherapy crib while I was in the toilet,” Beth claimed.

“They [nurses] told me they had her there for a while because she’s been crying a lot,” she continued.

“They told me that she looked exactly like me. At this point, it was so early and I was two days postpartum so I just didn’t question anything and I took the baby back to my bed.”

It was only later when Beth went to change the infant’s diaper that she discovered she was actually with a boy, and not her little daughter.

“My instant reaction was that somebody had stolen my baby,” the mom recalled. “I was absolutely terrified after four years of infertility. I thought I’d lost my baby after giving birth to her.”

Beth believes the midwives mistakenly mixed-up baby Isabelle and a newborn boy at the hospital, but she’s unclear whether the other child’s mother ever realized.

“The [other] mom was asleep on a completely different ward from me and I don’t know if she ever knew that the baby was passed to me,” she explained.

"As far as I’m aware, Isabelle was still in her phototherapy crib this whole time across the hall from me, but I have no idea what went on while I was in bed with the other baby.”

The hospital has commenced an investigation into how the error occurred.

Lorraine Tonge, director of midwifery at University Hospitals Dorset, told Caters: “We deeply regret any distress that was caused and have reached out to the mother to offer her support.

“We would urge her to get back in touch with us to assist us in our investigation.

"The safety of our parents and babies is the highest priority and we are committed to providing full support to the affected families.”

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