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Tatarstan Introduces New Measures to Prevent Babies Being Mixed Up at Birth

Tatarstan's Health Ministry is developing new standards for the swaddling of newborns in an attempt to stop babies being given to the wrong mother by careless midwives.

According to the regulations, which have not yet been approved, newborns will wear extra bracelets on their wrists and a card with additional information will be attached over the swaddling clothes, the ministry's spokeswoman said, Itar-Tass reported Friday.

The steps were initiated following an incident last year in one of the Russian republic's hospitals that saw mothers Lyudmila Trofimova and Lyudmila Dubayeva being handed each other's daughter.

One of the mothers said she immediately sensed that something was wrong, but midwives tried to reassure her that no mistake had been made.

The results of DNA tests later proved that there had indeed been a mix-up and in November the women were given custody of their rightful children.

Immediately after the incident, the leader of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov, ordered checks into all 18 of the republic's maternity hospitals and perinatal centers.

The ministry's order sets out the steps midwives must take while swaddling newborns, though Trofimova thinks that old swaddling standards played no real part in the confusion.

"We gave birth at the same during during unprepared operations — that was the problem," she said.

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