Hospital Gives New Jersey Mom Wrong Baby To Nurse After C-Section Delivery

A New Jersey woman is claiming that the hospital gave her the wrong baby to nurse after her c-section last year.

Montvale resident Melissa Richman has recently filed a new lawsuit alleging she spent more than 20 minutes breastfeeding a newborn baby given to her by a nurse about 4:30 am on Sept. 30.

“It was the middle of the night, I had just had a very serious, three-hour C-section. I was extremely sick from all the medication," she began.

"I was not in my right mind, and I didn’t think to check,’’ the 39-year-old mom, who already has two older children, noted in an interview with local media sources.

Richman says that suddenly the nurse returned to her room and literally snatched the child from her breast before giving her a new baby to nurse. But Melissa was already empty of milk as the other infant had been hungry, lawyer Rosemarie Arnold noted.

This meant that Richman’s own crying, hungry daughter was forced to drink formula from a bottle. Drinking formula also meant the baby did not receive her mom’s colostrum, the special milk that mothers secrete in the first days after birth that improves digestion and immune function and helps leach out systemic toxins.

The lawsuit against Valley Hospital of Ridgewood claims that this major mistake by the hospital deprived Scarlett of the nutrient-rich colostrum that “rightly belonged” to her.

Arnold also noted the 4:30 a.m. feeding was actually the second time Melissa had breastfed after her daughter’s birth, so now she was worrying that she may have nursed the wrong baby the first time as well.

If this was the case, then her own daughter may not have eaten since her birth, 14 hours prior.

“This is just a horrible thing for a mother,’’ Arnold noted.

Then, in another slap in the face, Melissa was also forced to take three separate blood tests so that the hospital could confirm she had no disease that could be passed on to the other couple’s child.

The lawsuit goes on to allege that the hospital staff took far less care when it came to Melissa and her baby’s health.

For starters, when the nurse realized the mix-up, she immediately pushed Scarlett on Melissa’s breast without stopping to wipe the other baby’s saliva off first, meaning Scarlett may have been exposed to a potential transfer of bacteria and /or other health problems.

The attorney for Melissa and her family pointed out that Scarlett now suffers from reflux, rashes and allergies.

In an interview with the media, Melissa commented that the whole mix-up left the Richmans wondering for weeks if they had even really taken the right baby home with them.

“I was deprived of the opportunity to properly bond with my daughter those first few weeks until we had the DNA results back that assured us she was ours,” Melissa explained, wiping tears from her eyes.

Note that Melissa and her husband, David Richman, are suing in state court, alleging malpractice on the part of the hospital and seeking unspecified damages.

The hospital has refused to comment, citing concerns about ongoing litigation.

Source: Mommy Page, New York Post
Photo: Melissa Richman, CBS New York

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