Poppy Seeds Skew Drug Test and Hospital Takes Newborn From Mother
Eileen Bower says she lost custody of her child because she ate a pasta salad in the final hours of her pregnancy.
When her son Brandon was born later that day, 22-year-old Eileen was informed by the hospital that she had failed a routine drug test. The results baffled Eileen, because she says she doesn't do drugs.
Brandon was taken from the maternity ward and put into foster care when he was just three days old.
Eileen says she was heartbroken and bewildered. Then, someone told her that poppy seeds, which contain opiates, can cause a person to fail a drug test. She began to wonder about the dressing on the salad she had eaten.
"I got on my phone and Googled up the ingredients, and sure enough, poppy seeds was the second ingredient down," Eileen told INSIDE EDITION.
Eileen is suing the owners of Jameson Hospital, located outside of Pittsburgh, for what her lawyers call "false positive results caused by common foods."
"My name was ruined," Eileen said of the ordeal.
Believe it or not, another mother is suing the same hospital in an almost identical case.
Elizabeth Mort says poppy seeds in a bagel she ate just before she gave birth triggered a false positive in her drug test. She also temporarily lost custody of her child.
As for Eileen, she regained custody of her son after a heartbreaking 75 days apart.
Eileen, who also has a young daughter, says she'll never forget the anguish she felt the day her son was taken from her.
"You know that you didn't do anything wrong, that they're taking your child for no reason. That really was the hardest thing that I ever had to deal with," Eileen said.
The hospital did not respond to INSIDE EDITION's calls.