A mom in Alabama enjoyed a slice of poppy seed bread the day before giving birth to her baby boy and then later tested positive for opioids as a result. Crestwood Medical Center tested the new mother and once the positive results came back, her baby was taken away from her for a brief period of time, according to WAFF.
“This is a nightmare for the whole family,” new mom Rebecca Hernandez told the local outlet. “Ya know, a newborn baby has to be close to mom. They have to be with the mom. That’s the most important time in their life to be close to the mom when they’re just born.”
As AL.com reports, a representative of the Alabama Cohosh Collaborative, Kirsten Clark, admitted that having her hours-old child ripped from her care was traumatizing for Hernandez. “She suffered a lot of trauma from being separated from her child. Especially because she is a breastfeeding mom.”
It was Hernandez’s doctor, Dr. Yashica Robinson, who helped to figure out that it was the poppy seed bread she ate the day before giving birth that resulted in a false-positive result. Her baby boy tested negative for opiates.
“Screening tests can have what we call false-positive results where other things can interfere,” Dr. Robinson explained to WAFF. “You can have a substance that a patient eats. Like in this case, poppy seeds can make them test positive for opioids.”
Mom Has Hours-Old Baby Taken From Her After Poppy Seed Bread Results in a False-Positive Drug Test
Instead of immediately taking a child from its mother, Dr. Robinson recommends that hospitals run a lab test to confirm the initial results. However, she reiterated, that she is not asking hospitals to break the law.
“I understand everything is a process. I understand you have to follow rules,” Hernandez told WAFF. “They should’ve done some more research before they decide to call the [Department of Human Resources].”
Following the debacle, Crestwood Medical Center provided a statement to People, saying they are “committed to following the law and regulatory requirements as well as ensuring the health and safety of our patients.”
“Our hospital incorporates patient care practices that are established by credentialed members of our medical staff so as to further insure safe and quality care for all patients,” the hospital continued.
After Hernandez’s initial test showed a false-positive, her aunt and uncle were also tested and their home was searched by DHR officials before they were granted temporary custody of Hernandez’s children. It was only after Hernandez’s second drug test came back negative that her children were returned to her care.
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.
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