Some hospitals offer high tech ways to keep your baby from being switched. They use foot printing, banding, tags that beep, like the leather coats in stores, personnel who wear certain types of outfits, and more. Be sure to ask on your hospital tour what your hospital does to help ensure this doesn't happen.
I have some advice for all those about to be parents who are giving birth in the hospital:
- Room In
Rooming in with your baby prevents your baby from leaving your side without your blessing. It ensures that you always know where your baby is at all times.
- Do Exams in your Room
Ask your pediatrician to do any baby exams or simple procedures in your postpartum room.
- Go with Baby
If your baby has to go anywhere, go with your baby. If you are unable to go with your baby, be sure that someone does go with your baby like your partner.
- Check ID Tags
If for some reason you and your baby are separated, be sure to ask to see the baby's name tags before your baby leaves and when your baby returns. You should also ask to see the official ID tag of the person requesting the baby.
- Note Special Qualities of Baby
You should also make a mental note of what your baby looks like. This can be helpful at identifying your baby. This isn't always possible, but something to note might be how much hair, birth marks, etc.
Hospital baby switching isn't a problem for women having home births or birth center births. Some hospitals even offer Labor/Delivery/Recovery/Postpartum (LDRP) Rooms, where you spend your entire visit in the same room, helping to reduce this even more.
This likelihood of your baby being switched is very small, but it doesn't take massive amounts of technology to protect your baby from being switched. Listening to moms and watching the babies are all that is really needed.