Arab Mother Takes Jewish Baby in Maternity Ward Mix-Up

When your baby is born, security at the hospital is a serious concern. A mother who gave birth at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem went to see her baby and realized her son was gone. After asking for help, hospital staff began to search for her son, fearing the baby had been kidnapped or mixed up with another baby and taken off the premises.

The mother finally found her baby after half an hour of searching. He was in the arms of an Arab mother. The woman, who had also given birth at Shaare Zedek the same week, was amazed she had been taking care of a baby other than her own. Her baby had been left behind in the nursery when she took the Jewish mother’s son.

The Jewish family insisted upon reassurance from the hospital that their baby was indeed in good health and that he had not been fed by the Arab mother.

A worker at the maternity ward said, “I’m not covering anything up. I really have no idea how this happened. The hospital’s head nurse is looking into how the incident happened. Someone is calling everyone again and again, in an effort to understand how this happened.”

This is not the first time something like this has happened at the hospital, even though they insist there are high security standards in place. Other concerns came up earlier in the year when an Arab man posed as a doctor, walking around the maternity floor sexually harassing women and stealing their belongings.

The hospital reported that a total of 28 babies were on the ward floor at the time of the mix-up.

The shift manager who found the baby said, “The staff members who spoke to this mother told me she was in complete shock. Even now, she doesn’t understand what happened, how it happened, and why it happened. The Arab mother is healthy, but we are doing blood tests on both her and the Jewish baby in order to be certain.”

Maybe the hospital’s new “Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative,” put together by the World Health Organization, which includes full room-in for mother and baby, will help to solve some of their security issues in the future.