A pregnant New Jersey woman recently tested positive for opioids and was paid multiple visits by Child Protective Services, all because she ate an everything bagel.
On Oct. 1, Caitlyn Marie Ricci arrived at the hospital to undergo an induction. As part of a routine test that’s done to screen for possible pregnancy complications, Ricci was asked to give a urine sample.
As she told Yahoo Life, she thought nothing of it since she didn’t use drugs. However, after a few hours, Ricci was told that her urine had tested positive for opioids.
The nurse asked her if she had eaten any poppy seeds recently, to which Ricci recalled eating an everything bagel that morning.
The nurse explained that even a teaspoon of poppy seeds can cause a false positive on a drug test. Ricci said she was told that as long as her child tested negative for opioids, they would be fine.
That night, after 40 hours of labor resulting in a C-section, Ricci gave birth to a baby boy.
Despite her son testing negative for opioids, the hospital told her that they would have to report her positive drug test to the state and that an official would need to talk to her before leaving the hospital.
“Feeling like we needed to comply, we said, ‘That’s fine,’ because we genuinely have nothing to hide,” Ricci told Yahoo Life.
She underwent an interview with an official from child protective services and was then told that they would have to inspect her home before she could leave the hospital.
“My husband had to leave myself and our newborn at the hospital for this home check,” Ricci said. “After seeing that we have a perfectly suitable home, [the official] told us he needed to come back again to physically see the baby in our home. We once again complied.”
After that visit, Ricci was told that she would need to be observed taking another drug test.
Ricci told Yahoo Life, “Since then, we have not heard from anyone,” and hopes that “no news is good news.”
Ricci discussed her experience in a video on TikTok where she encouraged expectant mothers in their third trimester to avoid making the same mistake as her.
“While I’m glad these procedures are in place to make sure babies are safe, I think the OB offices need to do a better job at letting pregnant women know that this is something that can happen,” Ricci said.
She added that the whole incident has “made me feel like a bad mom, even though I knew I had done absolutely nothing wrong.”
Women’s health expert Dr. Jennifer Wider explained to Yahoo Life why many hospitals require urine samples from expectant mothers.
“The purpose is to make sure women and their babies are given the best opportunity for optimal outcomes during and after pregnancy,” Wider said, noting that it is illegal for a hospital to test you without consent.
Wider said that the reason for the false positive is because “poppy seeds can have trace amounts of opiates.”
Misty Gigler, a doula from Dallas, said that this issue can be an especially traumatizing experience for pregnant women.
“The ramifications of testing positive could potentially get their baby taken away from them,” Gigler told Yahoo Life. “A lot of women don’t even know they are testing their blood for drugs upon admission into the hospital.”
She added, “Funny, they will give you fentanyl while in labor but take your baby away if you ate poppy seeds.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.