Published: Thu, July 19, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Pennsylvania woman charged after baby's death blamed on drugs in breast milk

Pennsylvania woman charged after baby's death blamed on drugs in breast milk

A Pennsylvania mother's 11-week-old son died in April, and she has now been charged in his death.

30-year-old Samantha Jones faces a homicide charge for allegedly giving her infant child drugs.

The District Attorney's Office said an autopsy found the baby died from a combination of methadone, amphetamine and methamphetamine that was transmitted through Jones' breast milk. Jones says a painkiller addiction led to a prescription for methadone, which she had taken while pregnant and post-partum.

According to charging documents, Jones says she had been breastfeeding the baby but had switched to formula three days earlier, saying the infant wasn't getting enough milk from breastfeeding.

According to an affidavit, Jones told police she'd been too exhausted to make the baby a bottle when he awoke crying at 3 a.m. and instead breastfed him. She told police she woke up about an hour later to find the baby pale and with bloody mucus coming from his nose.

Another child in the house, aged two, is now in the care of his father and a preliminary hearing will take place on July 23.

Her bail is set at $3 million cash.

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The investigation is ongoing, prosecutors said. Philadelphia reports she later gave him a formula bottle her husband had prepared around 6:30am, and found the child in distress an hour later. New Britain Township Police and Bucks County Detectives believe the fatal drugs entered the baby's body through the mother's breast milk.

A baby is dead and police believe his mother's breast milk is to blame.

According to a 2008 article published in Canadian Family Physician, a peer-reviewed journal, women using methadone as part of medical treatment should not be discouraged from breastfeeding.

However, stimulant drugs such as amphetamine or methamphetamine are thought to "concentrate in breast milk and may cause irritability and disturbed sleep in babies", according to the Mater Mothers' Hospital in Australia.

The child's father told police he found Jones and the baby in separate bedrooms at about 6 a.m. on April 2.

The affidavit also revealed what Jones said happened leading up to finding her son that fateful morning.

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