Mother accused of killing baby with drug-laced breast milk

Breast milk

Donated breast milk is shown in a New England facility in this 2012 file

A Philadelphia-area woman who described herself as a drug addict is being held on a homicide charge after she allegedly transmitted drugs to her 11-week-old baby through her breast milk, officials said.

The Bucks County District Attorney's office says an autopsy found the baby died from a combination of methadone, amphetamine and methamphetamine.

At around 3 a.m. on April 2, the baby began crying and Jones allegedly told police she tried to breastfeed the child because she was too exhausted to go downstairs to get a bottle of formula.

The baby was crying, and Jones asked her husband to prepare a bottle of formula for him, according to an affidavit of probable cause. One hour after that he died in an ER. Bucks Local News reports Jones also has a 2-year-old son; she has been ordered not to have contact with any minors. Tests revealed that the baby's blood contained toxic levels of morphine and clonazepam, ABC News reported. An hour later, according to the affidavit, she awoke to find the baby's skin pale and a bloody mucous streaming from his nose. Jones said she called out to her mother, who was in the house and called 911, and performed CPR under the instruction of a dispatcher.

Jones said she had been primarily breast-feeding the baby, but had switched to formula three days earlier, saying the infant wasn't getting enough milk from breast-feeding, the affidavit said. She told investigators initially that she had switched to formula the afternoon before the baby's death so she could "re-up her supply", the document said. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

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According to researchers behind an article in Canadian Family Physician, methadone exposure through breast milk is minimal.

Toxicology reports were done on both the formula and the bottle and no drugs were found in either.

Jones was arraigned on the charges and is tentatively scheduled for a preliminary hearing on July 23.

Jones' attorney Louis Busico said the baby's death was not intentional, according to the district attorney's office statement.

Jones has a 2-year-old son who is in the primary custody of his father, Busico said.

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