I don't trust people who don't like bagels, and I never will. The perfectly shaped doughy creations are a gift to stomachs everywhere. That's why when people eat bagels for breakfast, it should be celebrated, not punished.
But for one mom in Maryland, the bagel she ate the morning of giving birth got her reported to the state. Yes, really.
Elizabeth Eden decided to eat a poppy seed bagel for breakfast one day, and hours later she went into labor with her daughter.
"I was sitting in the bed. I was having contractions. I was on a Pitocin drip. And the doctor came in and said, 'You've tested positive for opiates,'" Eden said.
Considering Eden is not a drug user, this was alarming to her. She then remembered learning in school that poppy seed bagels can cause a false positive for opiates, because poppy seeds come from the opium poppy plant.
"I said, 'Well, can you test me again?' And 'I ate a poppy seed bagel this morning for breakfast,' and she said, 'No, you've been reported to the state,'" Eden said.
Despite only containing trace amounts of opiates, just a teaspoon of poppy seeds can raise your levels to 1,200 nanograms per millimeter. A positive test result at St. Joseph Medical Center, where Eden gave birth, is only 300 nanograms per millimeter.
The false positive was enough to have Eden's daughter held at the hospital for five days, while the new mother was reported to the state and assigned a case worker.
"It was traumatizing," Eden said.
Eden decided to fight back against the decision, and did extensive research on how poppy seed bagels can trigger a false positive. She sent her research to both the state and the hospital, hoping they could educate new mothers on the dangers of eating poppy seed bagels while pregnant.
"We don't typically educate patients, and it's a really good point that people probably should know that if you use poppy seeds before you have a toxicology screen that it could result in a false positive test," Dr. Judith Rossiter-Pratt, the chief of the department of OBGYN at St. Joseph Medical Center, said.
Eden's case worker realized that she hadn't in fact taken opiates, and closed the file on the new mom. Eden hopes that people will hear her story and recognize how harmful poppy seed bagels can be for pregnant mothers, even if it's not health-related.
[H/T: ABC 13]