A mother who ate a poppy seed bagel before going into labour, shockingly almost lost custody of her newborn baby.

According to local news station WVTM 13, Elizabeth Eden of Maryland was in labour at St. Joseph Medical Center on April 4 when a doctor delivered some shocking news that she had tested positive to opiates.

“‘You’ve tested positive for opiates,’” Elizabeth recalled. “I said, ‘Well, can you test me again? And I ate a poppy seed bagel this morning for breakfast,’ and [the doctor] said, ‘No, you’ve been reported to the state.’”

Elizabeth’s newborn daughter Beatrice was placed on a five-day hold at the hospital and a state caseworker visited the new mum at her home.

Elizabeth’s case was fortunately resolved, but she told WVTN 13 of the experience, “It was traumatising.”

According to emergency room physician Jedidiah Ballard, poppy seeds are extracted from the poppy plant, from which heroin, fentanyl, and other opioids are derived.

“Eating poppy seeds won’t make you high; however, they contain the same chemical code detected by drug tests,” he tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

Drug tests can produce positive results after a person ingests just one teaspoon of poppy seeds, causing their morphine levels to register at 1,200 nanograms per millimeter. And the tests at Elizabeth’s hospital reveal positive results when that number reaches 300.

Well that is certainly not something you would ever expect to be in strife over!

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  • wow…..go figure. Wonder if people are getting picked up like this on road side drug tests.


  • Oh no, all this from poppy seeds. What a drama, so upsetting for the mum. I would have been freaking, making me look like I was on drugs lol


  • I hope the hospital bought a bagel and tested it. Unless the Mum ate the bagel in the hospital how do they know she was telling the truth? I’m sorry the Mum had to go through the trauma.
    In SA I heard about a family who had poppies growing in their front yard. They had bought them at a garden centre. The Police drove past and spotted them. They were told to remove them.


  • Who would have thought this could happen especially when you have just given birth. I hope that down the track they can laugh about this. Who would have thought that poppy seeds could cause so much trouble.


  • I knew about the poppy seed thing but surely they would be able to tell that she wasn’t under the influence it seems a bit silly to put someone through all of that just over a bagel!


  • I hadn’t heard about this prior to reading this article, wow.


  • Wow, what terrible circumstances for this woman in labour. The panic and trauma she will have experienced is quite shocking. I’ve never heard of such testing before giving birth, but perhaps only in America!!


  • Why are they testing for opiates? So you cannot even go to hospital anymore without the risk of losing your child, crazy stuff. Looks like pregnant women should lay off the bagels.


  • Why are they testing women in labour anyway? I might understand if the person had been tested during pregnancy & had a drug problem.


  • I’ve heard this about poppy seeds… I assume the effects are very different, though!


  • Oh my!! So distressful!! I could have never imagined that poppy seeds can raise the morphine levels so high.
    Does it mean that, if you breastfeed, you shouldn’t be eating poppy seeds either?


  • that would never occur to me, I love poppy seeds!


  • Goodness! Who would have thought it – maybe the Hospital needs to review the procedure …. glad it was good outcome for Mum!

    • Exactly & maybe they should have told the mother first & asked her if she has any explaination,before calling child services,I could understand if they found it in her system during pregnancy & the mum was a know drug user,but this is just a tad pathetic,causing unnecessary stress to mum,which is not good for bubs if mum breast feeding :( kinda agree with the ‘only in America’ comment ;)


  • Wow that seems so ridiculous!


  • Oh my goodness, I can so imagine this was a very traumatising period ! Poor mummy !! Glad she was cleared. Only in America !!


  • I can’t imagine that a poppy seed bagel would have a very high concentration of opiates. Maybe they need to review their processes


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