Like most expecting mothers, Elizabeth Eden of Baltimore, Maryland couldn’t wait for her due date to arrive!
She was excited to finally be able to hold her little baby daughter in her arms, but she couldn’t imagine what would happen next.
That morning, Elizabeth went to buy a quick breakfast for herself, and shortly after, she went into labor.
She was admitted to the St. Joseph Medical center and experience a smooth and safe delivery, and just like that, little Beatrice was born into the world!
But then a doctor stepped in and delivered some horrific news.
He informed Elizabeth and her husband, Brian, that one of the many routine tests they’d run had come back positive.
Opiates had been found in her system.
Both Elizabeth and Brian fervently insisted that there must have been a mistake and asked desperately to be re-tested.
Doctors did not test her again.
Instead, little Beatrice was taken away and kept separately so that drug testing could be performed on her.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth was reported to local state authorities due to suspected drug use.
Social workers were sent out to visit their family home as well in order to search it top to bottom, and a caseworker was assigned to Elizabeth.
Over the next five days, Elizabeth felt like she was completely powerless and trapped in another dimension.
Beatrice was repeatedly tested every few hours in order to ensure that she was okay and to make sure she was not experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
It took a long, long three weeks, but Beatrice was finally considered free from drugs or opiates, and she was safe and happy.
Elizabeth’s caseworker soon uncovered the reason behind her false positive.
On the morning before she went into labor, Elizabeth’s breakfast of choice had been a poppy seed bagel.
False positive tests for drugs – opium specifically – have long been attributed to poppy seeds.
This was an incredibly traumatizing incident for Elizabeth.
Sadly, she is not the only mother who has been through this horrific time.
Two different moms in the United States alone have sued the hospitals they were in after being forced to go through similar accusations.
Poppy seeds are also not the only types of foods that can cause false drug tests.
Back in 2013, another mother received positive tests for methamphetamines on top of opiates, all due to a prescription medication she took for acid reflux.
Other parents have even had her newborn baby taken away and placed with a foster family.
She was only able to receive the baby again under the condition that she would move in with her in-laws.
Unfortunately, an exposure to opioids and other drugs are very, very serious and are sadly not exceedingly rare in newborns.
In Canada, approximately 1,850 babies were born under exposure to these types of drugs in the years 2016 and 2017, and this is a 27% increase from previous years in the decade.
We hope Elizabeth and Brian are able to get the quiet time they need to recover from this frightening incident.
There is no word yet on whether they plan to take legal action.