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New Jersey mom breastfeeds wrong newborn in hospital mix-up: lawsuit

Posted: 8:33 PM, Feb 13, 2017
Updated: 2017-02-13 20:33:02-05

MONTVALE, N.J. — A New Jersey mother claims she unsuspectingly breastfed someone else’s newborn in a hospital mix-up, according to a lawsuit.

In September, Melissa Richman, 39, underwent a three-hour cesarean section at Valley Hospital while delivering her daughter, Scarlett.

The nurse walked into Richman’s room a little baby to breastfeed about 4:30 a.m. About 20 minutes later, the nurse came back into the room and demanded the baby.

“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. I was not in my right mind, and I didn’t think to check,’’ the mom told The New York Post.

“She said, ‘There has been a terrible mistake. This isn’t your baby,'” Richman said.

A few minutes later, the nurse brought Scarlett in and put the newborn on Richman without wiping or cleaning the mother’s chest, leaving the mother to worry about the two babies sharing saliva.

Now, Richman and her family are suing the hospital.

In a lawsuit prepared by the family attorney Rosemarie Arnold, baby Scarlett began to cry because Richman was empty of milk from feeding the other baby.

The baby was forced to drink formula — which means she didn’t get her mom’s colostrum, the special milk that mothers secrete in the first days after birth and which aids the baby’s digestion and immune system while ridding it of lingering toxins.

Richman then had to undergo a series of tests to make sure that she didn’t pass along any infections to the other child.

The hospital declined to comment on the lawsuit.