FENTON, Mo. - A mother in Fenton has taken her child out of day care after what she feels was a risky mix-up with her baby.
That mother said it is already hard enough trusting someone with your newborn child as it is, but she was enraged when she went to pick up her son and saw him being fed another woman’s breast milk.
“The bottle was not a bottle I provided. It was a different brand,” said Jessi Werkmeister.
Werkmeister said the person holding and feeding her son at WeeCare Childcare in Fenton thought he was another baby.
“I said, 'What are you feeding him?' They responded with, 'I can assure you it’s not breast milk.'” Werkmeister said. “I said, 'What is it? He’s a preemie.'”
Werkmeister said her son was born four weeks early, so she was sending him with a special formula.
She soon found it was not his special formula he was drinking but milk another mother had pumped.
She said she had to find the mother on Facebook to ask her a few questions.
“She reassured me it was breast milk,” Werkmeister said. “She said, 'What is my son getting if your son’s getting my breast milk?'”
WeeCare Childcare issued the following statement:
“We would like to apologize to the parents of all parties involved in this isolated incident. We are sure that this issue has been addressed and resolved. We love all our children and families that God has placed in our hands. We look forward to serving our community, and we will continue to protect our credibility.”
Josh Arthur, assistant professor of pediatrics, said there are potential risks with milk mix-ups in daycare.
“The thing that you worry about is the transmission of infectious disease,” Arthur said. “Breast milk is better in almost every way than formula, but the one thing is it could transmit medical conditions that the mother has.”
“Immediately, you want to know if they drink, smoke, are they healthy?” Werkmeister said. “That is something that the day care should’ve had a protocol to address. I didn’t get a phone call. I didn’t get a follow-up.”
Werkmeister said her baby was not only drinking from the wrong bottle but he also had on the wrong diapers, too.
She pointed out that her son’s bottles are labeled and he has a distinctive red birthmark in between his eyes.
“It makes me wonder if you can’t give a child the right bottle, what other things are going on in the day care?" Werkmeister said.
According to reports from the Center for Disease Control, the chances for diseases to be spread by breast milk are low, but both parents should be notified in the case that the wrong child drinks the wrong milk.