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It is a very common fear in parents: that confuse and exchange your baby with another who has just been born. However, the situation is currently almost unlikely due to the protocols that are carried out in hospitals as soon as the birth occurs. Although, there is always an exception that proves the rule.
There are few cases all over the world. One of them is that of Mercedes Casanellas and her husband Richard Cushworth. They were missionaries in El Salvador, and when they returned home from the hospital delivery they suspected it was not their biological baby they took with them. After a four-month struggle, a DNA test confirmed the suspicions of these parents and the exchange, this time correct, of babies took place. It has not been clarified if it was a human error or a criminal action related to the trafficking of babies.
I guess many moms have had that fear. I asked my husband, like a new mom, not to lose sight of my baby when he was taken for tests after he was born. And every time they took him out of the room for some medical examination, he asked them to come after him. An attitude perhaps a little obsessive and distrustful today.
In hospitals there are protocols to identify newborns. All this is aimed at preventing newborns from being exchanged in the delivery room or in hospital wards, if possible verify the identity of the newborn in case of doubt and to allow the identity of the baby and its mother to be verified at any time.
Each hospital has its own protocol, but the baby and mother are usually identified with a wristband with the necessary information. This bracelet serves as an identifier and is checked each time there is a physical separation between the two. What's more, both are fingerprinted and filed in your file.
In addition, nowadays the clinics favor constant and direct contact between the mother and her baby to stimulate attachment, breastfeeding and bonding. Nests full of babies while moms rested in their room is not so common anymore. Therefore, the closeness between the two complicates the fact that they can be exchanged.
On the few occasions in which a baby exchange occurs, it usually occurs in the delivery room in large centers where there are simultaneous deliveries and it usually occurs before the human fault of staff that he has not taken the precautionary measures that are recommended, or in those moments in which there is a physical separation between the two. Generally, the penal codes of the different countries consider the exchange of babies as a crime punishable by jail.
There are parents who to avoid this, draw the footprint of their child, take many photos or look at small details as if it had a mole or stain. In any case, parents look so enraptured at our baby when they are born that, no matter how alike they are, we can surely recognize them among dozens of them, don't you think?
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