Meth Breastfeeding-death Charges Filed
August 5, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
EUREKA, Calif., Aug. 5 (UPI) — Prosecutors say a California mother knowingly endangered her infant’s life by breastfeeding while using methamphetamine and has been charged in his death.
Six-week-old Anthony Acosta III died last year after an allegedly fatal level of the drug was passed to him by his mother, Maggie Jean Wortman, 26, who continued to breastfeed him despite her meth addiction, ABC News reported Friday.
Wortman’s attorney, arguing it was not the meth in the infant’s bloodstream that resulted in his death, said his client is pleading not guilty to second-degree murder charges.
Wortman admitted to investigators that she used the drug during pregnancy and approximately three times after Anthony was born, court documents show.
“Mothers who are abusing amphetamines through any route — smoking, snorting, swallowing, injecting — can pass amphetamines to their babies via breastfeeding,” said Dr. Marcel Casavant, chief of pharmacology and toxicology at Nationwide Children’s hospital. “In fact, amphetamine is concentrated into breast milk, which means breast tissue takes amphetamine from the mother’s bloodstream and actively moves it into the milk.”
Wortman has said she was unaware that using meth while breastfeeding could be dangerous to her baby, although a police officer testified at a preliminary hearing that Wortman was given a pamphlet on the dangers of breastfeeding while using meth.
Wortman’s 19-month-old daughter has also tested positive for methamphetamine and is in protective custody, ABC reported.