More come forward to show taping babies’ mouth common
CEBU CITY, Philippines—Another parent has come forward to say that the mouth of her newborn infant was also taped to hold in place a pacifier while confined at a maternity hospital here that prides itself with being mother-baby friendly.
Chesiel Lyka Arsua, 22, posted four photos of her then two-day-old daughter, Blaire, on her Facebook account on May 24 after learning about what happened to the infant son of Ryan Noval whose upper lip was sealed while at the nursery of Cebu Puericulture Center and Maternity House (CPCMH).
Arsua’s photos showed a blue pacifier in her baby’s mouth that was secured by surgical tape.
“My Blaire was also taped during her stay at maternity. Blaire was only two days old in this picture. Their reason (for taping a pacifier to the baby’s mouth) was to quiet the baby because she was noisy since she kept on crying,” Arsua wrote on Facebook.
In a statement, the CPCMH board of trustees insisted that the hospital does not allow the use of a pacifier or tape to hold it in place, unless ordered by doctors.
“There is now an ongoing independent investigation being conducted. The board of trustees of CPCMH welcomes this and will abide by the outcome and decision of the investigating body,” the hospital said.
Arsua’s baby was born on Feb. 22 but had to stay in CPCMH for a week because of difficulty in breathing.
Arsua told the Inquirer in a phone interview that the photos were screen shots of the video she took.
She said she asked the nurse why a pacifier had to be taped to her baby’s mouth and was told it was to quiet her baby down.
The first-time mother didn’t complain because she thought it was normal practice since she noticed that there were other babies in the nursery who had pacifiers taped to their mouths.
She took the video, which is a minute and 57 seconds long, to document her baby’s stay in the hospital.
The Department of Health (DOH) has required hospitals to follow all 10 steps for successful breast-feeding as part of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative launched by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund.
Step 9 reads: Give no artificial teats or pacifiers (also called dummies or soothers) to breast-feeding infants.
This year, the DOH-Health Facilities Licensing Section has required a certification as Mother-Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative as a condition for the license renewal of hospitals.
The DOH is part of the interagency committee that is looking into the case of the newborn infant of Jasmine Badocdoc whose upper lip was sealed purportedly to keep a pacifier in the baby’s mouth.
Arsua said she had no plans of suing the hospital but decided to post the photos to defend Badocdoc against accusations that she and husband Noval were making up stories against the hospital.
Arsua said she wanted to show the public that taping the mouths of babies was a normal practice in the hospital.
Asked if she would attend the hearing, Arsua said she didn’t want to get involved although she was willing to give the committee a copy of her video.
A 54-year-old man also claimed that his granddaughter was given a pacifier that was secured by a tape on her mouth at the nursery of CPCMH.
Lucresio Son said his daughter, Lushella, gave birth to a baby girl on Aug. 8 last year at the maternity hospital.
Three days later, he went to the hospital to fetch his daughter and granddaughter when he noticed that his granddaughter’s mouth was taped to secure a pacifier.
When he asked the nurse about it, the reply was to stop the baby from crying.
Son, however, said he didn’t take photos of his granddaughter. With a report from Carmel Loise Matus, Inquirer Visayas
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