Did you worry about your baby being stolen at the hospital?

When the news broke about the woman being arrested for allegedly trying to take a baby from a Clayton County hospital a friend made an interesting comment on Facebook.

She essentially said: See I’m not crazy! This does happen!

She went on to say that’s why she made her husband walk the newborn to and from the nursery every time.

And of course you know I did that too. Our babies were almost always in the room with us but when they went to the nursery we walked with them and usually stayed for any shots and checks.

In fact, I almost passed out the morning after Rose was born walking to the nursery for her to bed checked by a pediatrician. I didn’t realize how weak I was and how much blood I was still losing and while waiting I almost passed out. They had to pull over a chair for me.  After that I made Michael go.

When Rose was first born, they were stitching me up and I was ordering Michael to go with her to the nursery. “Don’t worry about me! Don’t leave her alone for a second!!” He was more relaxed about it than I was.

Did you worry about your baby being stolen (or swapped) at the hospital? Did you ask about their prevention methods when choosing a hospital? Did you make your family walk with the baby or stay with the baby in the nursery? Did you feel safer with the baby in your room or in the nursery?

45 comments Add your comment

K's mom

January 5th, 2012
11:56 am

I did not worry when I was in the hospital with my first and I did have him sleep in the nursery every night after a grueling 36 hour labor and c-section. I checked IDs and trusted in the Northside staff.

During our hospital tour we were educated on all of the safety precautions and ID standards and that gave me a lot of confidence. My husband was with our newborn every second until we got to the room and saw them do his bracelets. Plus our little guy had my distinct chin from the moment he popped out so there was no confusing him.

I am a fairly relaxed mom in an effort not to drive myself and everyone else crazy and it had to start at the hospital.

Techmom

January 5th, 2012
11:58 am

Nope, I never worried about it. Most hospitals now have the proper security equipment so that these situations are stopped before the baby can be taken. If anything, this should give you comfort that it WON’T happen. The system worked!

When my friend had her baby in Macon a couple of months ago, I had to show my picture ID (which they scanned into their system) and they made me an ID badge before I was even allowed into the maternity ward. Mom and baby had RFID tags that matched each other and an alarm would go off if either of them left the maternity ward. I guess someone could cut the tag off but I still think this is one of those “one in 5 million” chance happenings.

I’m curious what this girl’s motivation was to steal a baby (I call her girl b/c she’s 19! Most 19 year olds don’t want babies!!)

Augusta

January 5th, 2012
12:15 pm

OH. MY. GOD. Seriously?????

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

January 5th, 2012
12:16 pm

I am curious as well. We’ll see.

Are you a complete idiot?

January 5th, 2012
12:17 pm

Here we go again. MMH…… More Momania Hyperbole.

K's Mom

January 5th, 2012
12:20 pm

Techmom, I had the same reaction…the safety precautions worked!

Stacey

January 5th, 2012
12:27 pm

My son was a preemie and was immediately wisked to the NICU within minutes of his birth. My husband was allowed to go up with him but had to leave after a little while so they could get the baby checked out and settled in. I didn’t get to go up to see him for several hours but once I did I was comfortable because the NICU is so closely guarded. He was hospitalized for a few days when he was 6 months old and I was more nervous then than I was when he was a newborn.

My goddaughter was born at Northside 6 months before my son and I was allowed to carry her for the labor and delivery area to their hospital room but I had to be listed by the mother and fitted with an ID bracelet first. I also had to stay within a couple of feet of mom (who was being pushed in a wheelchair by a nurse) or an alarm would sound. There were a couple of checkpoints along the way where they checked matched up all of our bracelets before allowing us to leave and enter different areas of the hospital. At the time, I had never had a baby and secretly felt it was overkill but once I became a mother I understood and appreciated the extra precautions.

mom2alex&max

January 5th, 2012
12:27 pm

I never worried about it. If you gave birth at Northside in Atlanta then you know the place has more security than a maximum security prison. The babies have ankle bracelets that set off alarms, the ID tags are checked CONSTANTLY and babies are always watched. In fact NO ONE can walk the corridors with a baby in their arms. The babies are to be in the rooms with moms or in the bassinets.

I’m not saying it couldn’t be attempted at Northside, but it would never succeed. And in fact, it didn’t succeed here either! The baby was returned safely within minutes. So no. Stop being paranoid.

mom2alex&max

January 5th, 2012
12:34 pm

And the NICU is particularly secure at Northside. I wanted to visit my nephew in there and they wouldn’t even confirm he was in there until my brother in law walked me in. This day and age it would be almost 100% impossible to steal a baby from a hospital.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

January 5th, 2012
12:56 pm

WSB now reporting reason — reporting suspect told the police that she miscarried and didn’t tell her boyfriend. planned to present the newborn to him as theirs. Very sad.

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/police-teen-m

Figment

January 5th, 2012
1:03 pm

I didn’t worry about it. My son was born at Northside and as the others have mentioned they have a lot of security. I was more upset with not being able to have my son in my room (he was in the NICU) then I was worried about someone taking him.

Tig

January 5th, 2012
1:24 pm

When our daughter (age 7) was born at Gwinnett Medical Center, she slept in my room every night I was there, and when she had to be taken out of the room my husband or ma visiting new-grandparent would go along because they wanted to be able to tell me what all was being done.

TXMom

January 5th, 2012
1:31 pm

My kids were born at Kennestone, and they, too, have more security than a prison, it seems. We jokingly referred to the system as “baby Lo-Jack” because they had a security tag attached to the baby’s umbilical stump, and then they double checked both mine and my husband’s wrist bands each time they were taking the kids to or from the nursery for baths, checkups, etc. (Kennestone has a rooming-in policy, so the babies don’t go to the nursery unless they’re being checked, bathed, etc.) So… no, I didn’t worry. I was too groggy from the c-section. Heh.

Penguinmom

January 5th, 2012
2:14 pm

Since I actually know some of the people involved in the old Florida baby swapping case, I didn’t really like the thought of not having one of us with our children. At our first hospital, the only time our child left the room was for circumsion, all checks, etc were done in the room. The second one, my husband just walked with them to and from. It wasn’t a big deal since he was at the hospital anyway and didn’t really have anything else to do.

There is much more security now which shows in the fact that this girl was caught so quickly. I don’t really think it is likely to happen but I also think a parent hanging out with their newborn isn’t a bad thing.

Augusta

January 5th, 2012
2:16 pm

I had all my babies at Northside. They all stayed with me in the room. When siblings were born, we were all in there together. I have a beautiful picture of all of us in the bed after the last one was born. We got the nurse to take the picture of all 6 of us in that bed…..

Louis Winthorp III

January 5th, 2012
2:36 pm

Won\’t insurance get you a new baby if yours is stolen?

motherjanegoose

January 5th, 2012
2:45 pm

Not at all. Son was born at Spohn Hospital in Texas and Daughter here at Gwinnett Medical. Neither roomed in with me. Gwinnett Medical Rooms were more modern but the experience at Spohn Hospital was much better and I had a view of the ocean to boot! I will say my son, then almost five, loved the free snack room on the floor for families and had more than enough chocolate milk. Not sure if they still have it. Funny what you remember after almost 20 years.

JOD

January 5th, 2012
2:51 pm

DD was born at Kennestone, so our experience was like TXMom’s. She roomed in (one of the reasons I chose Kennestone), so she was with us 99% of the time. I didn’t worry about security because I felt good about the protocols in place that others have described, not to mention that Hubs was my first line of defense.

I’m more interested in how the teen got into the ward. At Kennestone, we were shown the ID badges everyone wore, and were told that anyone without that badge or specific visitor IDs could not get on the floor.

Techmom

January 5th, 2012
2:56 pm

Here’s the correct link to the story: http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/police-teen-miscarried-hid-stolen-baby-purse/nGGK4/

I wonder as well how she got in (even with scrubs) if she didn’t have an id badge.

Wayne

January 5th, 2012
3:09 pm

Wasn’t worried. I work at a hospital and have seen the system that’s in place. Recently, I think last year, they locked down the maternity wards. All employees have swipe badges for ingress/egress. If you’re not a ‘normal’ employee of that floor(even if you’re in IT where we pretty much have the run of the place) you can’t go in there. You have to call in and be recognized as having business on the floor. If you don’t, so sorry, see ya later.

We also implemented a program to be more cognizant of sound (talk on your cell phone loud?) so as to lower it a bit – but that’s a different story.

K's mom

January 5th, 2012
3:18 pm

Man, I am a bad wife and mother. I made my husband go home at night to sleep after our son was born. We were up for 48 hours straight until the little guy made his appearance and we live 10 minutes from the hospital so I thought it was best that the hubs rest well while the baby and I were being taken care of. It truly never occurred to me for him to be there as “security.” I think I will still send him home for the second go round. The rooms at Northside are so tiny and the additional “bed” is awful.

Fred

January 5th, 2012
3:19 pm

My wife had our baby at that Hospital in Snellville, I forget the name. It was new and had a new maternity ward. She had my daughter in her room and she (my daughter) never left.

JOD

January 5th, 2012
3:58 pm

@K’s mom – I don’t think I could have pried Hubs out of the room those first couple of days; he wanted to be with DD from moment 1.

Kat

January 5th, 2012
4:09 pm

All of our kids were born at Kennestone – I highly recommend it for all reasons, including its security as others have mentioned. Hubby stayed in the room with our first-born the first night. The second night I sent him home to ensure everything was ready and that he had had a good night’s sleep. With our second and third (twins), he stayed the first night, then he went home so (again) someone got some sleep before neither of us got it.

In this case, it sounds like the system worked and that this girl (aka idiot) was dumber than a bag of rocks. How many months along was this girl supposed to have been? Does she understand the percentage of births (last check – 15%) that end in miscarriage? Does she understand that she could get pregnant again? Does she understand that she has done something to her life that can never be changed or forgiven?

K's Mom

January 5th, 2012
4:15 pm

@JOD, my husband resisted at first but after the first good night’s sleep and the fact that we sent our little guy to the nursery at night he was convinced. Because of the 48 hour labor and a c-section we
were in the hospital for 6 nights and he needed rest by the end of the 3rd day. I had several friends that said the best decision they made after a c-section was not to room in and I followed that advice without regret. I felt fantastic when I got home and was 100% ready and able to be up all night.

And again, the extra “bed” at Northside is not designed for anyone over 4 feet tall or about 60 pounds!

motherjanegoose

January 5th, 2012
5:27 pm

My husband did not spend the night with me at all, in the hospital, and neither of my two roomed in. I guess it did not occur to me that my child would be stolen. Too late for all that stuff now!

mystery poster

January 5th, 2012
6:47 pm

My second was born at home, no worries at all about anyone stealing him.

tranurse

January 5th, 2012
7:13 pm

penguinmom; are you talking about the baby that was taken at university hosp in jax? i remember that, i was in college or had just gotten out. i had one born at baptist in jax, and i never thought about it. my second son was born in tallahassee, at the hospital i worked at. i never really thought about it, plus i knew everyone there, so i trusted them.

catlady

January 5th, 2012
7:20 pm

Never worried a bit. My eldest is 35, so maybe it was not a problem then? As far as I know neither my daughter nor DIL were concerned. I know there is more security now.

I do know that when my son got hurt I went outside the hospital to get a paper and could not get back in! I was very annoyed; a security person had to come get me and escort me to the room. This was 27 years ago. That was the first time I had experienced any exceptional security.

Kristen

January 5th, 2012
8:00 pm

Nope … don’t think I’d let some wild-eyed crazy WITHOUT A HOSPITAL BADGE take my baby …
but then again I’m not a not-too-bright teenage Mom …

Pathetic

January 5th, 2012
8:11 pm

Ha ha ha. Only in Thugville (Atlanta). No, I am not worried since I live in a safe, nice suburb. Things like this only happen at hospitals in bad areas. I know “they” like to steal and rob but now they are stealing babies? Classic.

Mom1994&2011

January 5th, 2012
8:32 pm

I gave birth to my second daughter on Dec. 28th, so this is very real to me. I was surprised when the nurse put a low-jack on my newborn and didn’t take it off until I was ready to be wheeled out the hospital door. I truly feel sorry for the young lady because I suffered a miscarriage in 2009 and it hurt very much; I was worried my entire pregnancy.

And Pathetic, you are very pathetic. It’s very rare that babies are stolen in Atlanta or African american communities.

greg

January 5th, 2012
8:33 pm

I am always interested in the psychology behind the women who steal newborns. Do they want to be mothers, or is it just the “having the baby feeling” they are seeking? What does everyone think?

Techmom

January 5th, 2012
9:12 pm

@ Mom1994&2011 – how does it feel to have a 17 year old and a newborn? My son is 16 and my husband wants another baby- I do NOT! I couldn’t imagine starting over at this point.

Techmom

January 5th, 2012
9:14 pm

@Greg I think a lot of women want a baby more than they want to be a parent and raise a child.

djm_NC

January 6th, 2012
7:07 am

@techmom…i had my youngest when my oldest was 17…it was a case of birth control not working for whatever reason…a really big surprise! there are pros and cons…now im 58 and she is 19…i was a lot more relaxed with her because i had learned what really matters and what doesnt. i think i enjpyed her more because of that…i wasnt constantly worrying that i was doing something wrong etc…i didnt plan that pregnancy and never would have at that age (i turned 39 a week after her birth) but i dont regret having her for a minute…

Augusta

January 6th, 2012
8:34 am

I’m getting tickled by all the women who sent their husbands home “to get some rest”…..Yea, we sure didn’t do anything in that delivery room to warrant US getting rested….I haven’t had a day’s rest since the first child was born….LOL.

Wayne

January 6th, 2012
8:50 am

@Augusta: Had to chuckle at your last post. My wife keeps telling me she needs a break, or peace and quiet in the mornings. I tell her, you’ll not get either until they (two boys, 8 and 5) are 18 and we can kick them out of the house. And even then, that’s if we’re able to!

Augusta

January 6th, 2012
9:31 am

Wayne, I actually get a nice break on Saturday mornings. Hubs takes all the kids out to breakfast and they run errands. That’s their time to spend with their Daddy and they all look forward to it, even if it means getting up early. So I get a few hours of ME time once a week.

Hubs gets his time too…..One night a week, he will go have a couple of beers with the guys he works with. He’s usually home by 8…..so it’s not a late night. We both make sure the other gets some time away from the kids, once a week.

Wayne

January 6th, 2012
9:38 am

We try to do something similar, but my working two jobs, one of which is my side business makes it a bit difficult. She does have time during the day when the kids are at school so she does okay. Saturday mornings are usually when she sleeps in, and we three clean up the house. I’m the more patient one so it goes a bit better if I work with them cleaning up!

Penguinmom

January 6th, 2012
11:49 am

@tranurse – no, I’m talking about the swapped baby case where 2 families went home with the wrong baby. One of the children died as a child and, in the course of the disease, the family found out the girl they thought was their daughter wasn’t actually their biological child. There was a custody battle and other legal issues that ended up happening after they found out where their real child was.

Momof2

January 6th, 2012
7:26 pm

Both my kids were born at Kennestone. My second one was born in June 2009 and I did not worry about security because of the ” babylojack” on her imbilical stump! Plus we did rooming in and the nurse did the bath and the footprick tests right in the room. It was nice to be able to see how gentle they were with my child. We stayed out of the way so they could do what they needed to do. But if they were to take my child somewhere ONE OF US would have had to be with her, but that is just me!

irisheyes

January 6th, 2012
8:49 pm

I never worried. I had my last two at Eastside, and they were very good at explaining their security. Baby and I got matching bands in the delivery room, and Baby got the Lo-Jack at the same time. Also, they showed me the badges that any of the people who worked at the hospital would have, so I knew not to let anyone else take the baby. (Plus, they always take the baby out in the bassinet, never in their arms.)

The hospital where I had my oldest had an additional security measure. Everybody had a certain color pin, and the nurse would come and write on the board in my room what the color of the day was. If someone came in with a different color pin, they were not authorized to take the baby. (It prevented someone from forging an ID). That was in rural Indiana, so, obviously, worries about baby stealing are not confined to just Atlanta and African Americans.

kartgirl00

January 8th, 2012
11:37 am

In 1996, when I had my son at Northside, they went over the security precautions with us and we felt comfortable. Till the alarm went off. I immediately sent the husband to the nursery to check on our son. Someone had walked too close to the elevator with a baby in a bassinet. In 1998, when my daughter was born at Gwinnett Medical, I didn’t worry at all. In 2009, when my son was born at Oconee Regional, I worried. The nursing staff was lax about checking id bracelets and his ankle monitor kept sliding off his skinny ankle. They said just to leave it in his bassinet. Which is why he hardly left my room. It was Christmas weekend and the chances of someone in Milledgeville stealing my baby from the hospital were slim but it still crossed my mind (it IS home of Central State Hospital after all). And the next baby, due in August will be born in the same hospital but hopefully they’ll have tightened security up a little. And yes, I know that when baby #4 is born, I will have an almost 16 year old, a 14 year old, and an almost 3 year old. And it will be born a month before my 20 year high school reunion…

DB

January 8th, 2012
7:23 pm

Nope — never crossed my mind. Way too many other things to think about rather than worrying about the infinitestimal chance of a baby being randomly stolen. The times it happens, it’s huge news — because it IS rare.