Russian babies switched at birth reunited with parents after 102 days

Lyudmila Dubayeva (right) and Lyudmila Trofimova (left) with their babies, 102 days after being swapped in a hospital blunder Photo: EBU

A hospital blunder in Russia resulted in two mothers being given the wrong babies, after they were delivered by Caesarean section within minutes of each other.

The baby girls, Anna and Aishat, have now been returned to their rightful parents, 102 days after they were swapped.

The mothers, both called Lyudmila, breast fed and bonded with each other's baby girls, and after a tearful reunion, are helping each other get to know their respective offspring.

Lyudmila Trofimova's baby Anna in her arms. Credit: EBU

Lyudmila Dubayeva and Lyudmila Trofimova each said they suspected something was wrong immediately after their Caesarean operations, but their concerns were dismissed by the hospital in Naberezhnye Chelny.

The women kept in contact, and exchanged pictures, despite medical staff insisting they had the right baby. Lyudmila Trofima said:

I asked to see my daughter, and knew immediately that something was wrong because she did not look like us. I asked to show me Dubayeva's baby. I saw at once she was a copy of my elder son.

Lyudmila Dubayeva's baby Aishat, reunited with her older brother.

Lyudmila Dubayeva, 32, said her marriage was almost wrecked after DNA tests revealed "her" baby did not belong to her husband. Her husband accused her of being unfaithful, and threatened divorce.

DNA tests showed that my husband was not the father of the child.

We were on the verge of divorce.

The hospital only accepted its mistake after both women paid for their own DNA tests and presented them to staff.

The maternity ward is now providing a room for the women to stay together to learn how best to bond with their daughters - teaching each other everything from their daughter's sleeping patterns, to what lullabies gets them to sleep quickest.

Both women say they have been deeply traumatised by the ordeal, and are struggling to come to terms with the prospect of being separated from the babies they have cherished since birth.

Anna Trofimova, reunited with her older biological brother. Credit: EBU

Lyudmila Trofimova said for her, separating from her baby was heart-breaking, despite knowing that the child was not her own.

I do understand that the baby is her daughter. I do understand that she will be in good hands. The other she is my daughter too.

We'll remain friends, we shall be meeting each other. It's hard, it's very hard, almost like a heart-break.

Both mothers and babies are working with psychologists; both girls have been cared for very well and are in good physical health.