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Should moms be jailed for drinking and breastfeeding? This mom was!

Posted by on Mar. 26, 2014 at 4:24 PM
  • 234 Replies

I think this is crazy!  It's not like she was drunk or endangering her children in any way!  Some cops think they can do whatever they want!

Mom Jailed for Breastfeeding While Drinking, Waitress Fired Over It


A mother, who was thrown in jail and charged with endangering the welfare of a child after breastfeeding her baby while drinking, said she didn’t know she was possibly breaking the law.

“I did drink. I did breastfeed,” Tasha Adams told ABC News’ “20/20” in her first on-camera interview. “I didn’t know it was illegal. If I knew it was illegal, I wouldn’t have done it.”

Over the course of an hour and a half, Adams said she had two beers and nothing more. But when Jackie Conners, an off-duty waitress, showed up early for an after-hours staff meeting, she said she saw something very different that disturbed her.

“They looked like they were having a good time, just drinking,” Conners told “20/20.” “Things started getting louder and louder, and then the baby started getting fussy.”

According to Conners, Adams began to breastfeed Ana, but she wasn’t drinking beer.

“There were several drinks in front of her, about ... two or three drinks in front of her already, when I got there,” Conners said. “I watched the bartender make them, looked like Long Islands. But regardless if it was that or not, then it was strong liquor that was in those glasses.”

Conners reported Adams to management but was told the manager had already decided not to cut the drinking and breastfeeding mother off. Gusano’s Restaurant management would not respond to repeated requests for comment from “20/20.”

After consulting with her own mom what to do about the situation, Conners, who has a daughter of her own, called the police.

“And they said, ‘Ma’am, we’ve got a report that you were drinking alcohol while breastfeeding,’” Adams recalled. “I said, ‘OK, I didn’t know that was illegal.’”

Adams was right. Arkansas law doesn’t say anything about drinking and breastfeeding. But after Adams admitted that she had two drinks, the officers made a judgment call: they told Adams to call a sober family member to drive her baby home and then arrested her for endangering the welfare of a child.

“I can’t believe this, you know,” Adams said. “I’m so ... I’m more worried about my kid, because I even asked them. I said, ‘Can I bring her with me?’”

Adams said she is very cautious about breastfeeding, and that baby Ana never had formula before because Adams believes it is less healthy than breast milk. She insisted that she wasn’t drunk when she was breastfeeding at the restaurant.

“If I’m drunk, I feel, you know, that I’m not able to take care of my kids,” Adams said. “I wish they would’ve given me a Breathalyzer so it could be proven.”

Conway, Ark., police told “20/20” that they only give a Breathalyzer test to suspected drunken drivers. Although police arrested Adams for endangering her baby, ABC News contributor Dr. Jennifer Ashton, a practicing ob-gyn, told “20/20” that surprisingly little research has been done on drinking while nursing.

“Conventional wisdom will say that breastfeeding is best for both the mother and the baby, and that moderate consumption, which really means once and a while to consume a drink, probably will not do any harm for the baby,” Ashton said. “But we have to remember that alcohol is a toxin. It’s especially toxic to the newborn's brain, to the developing brain.”

It is unclear how much alcohol gets into the mother’s milk while drinking, and the science is imprecise. Still, there are options for nursing mothers who want to have a drink now and then, said Ashton.

“You have the option of pumping in advance, pumping and storing milk or saying at the last minute, ‘You know what, I want to have a fun night tonight. I’m going to drink probably more than one drink, and so for the next six hours, I’m going to give my baby formula.’”

Conners, who said she was just trying to do the right thing, was fired the week after she called the police on Adams.

“I’ll say it till the day I die,” said Adams.

“I was sober enough to breastfeed my kid.”

by on Mar. 26, 2014 at 4:24 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by on Mar. 26, 2014 at 4:43 PM
5 moms liked this

I personally wouldn't be drinking and breastfeeding my baby at the same time but, it wasn't illegal so how could they arrest her for it? 

by Emerald Member on Mar. 26, 2014 at 7:58 PM
6 moms liked this

They should have done a field sobriety test to see if she actually drank more than legal.  Rule of thumb is drink one 12oz beer per hour with drinking a glass of water between each beer for safe consumption.

by Member on Mar. 26, 2014 at 11:55 PM
My home town! LOL I can't believe they arrested her. That is a little crazy.
by on Mar. 27, 2014 at 12:00 AM
That's pretty nuts. I don't drink when breastfeeding. I worry too much.
by on Mar. 27, 2014 at 12:04 AM
5 moms liked this
Pure ignorance. People need to educate themselves.
by Trica on Mar. 27, 2014 at 1:40 AM
1 mom liked this
I agree!

Quoting withsecond:

I personally wouldn't be drinking and breastfeeding my baby at the same time but, it wasn't illegal so how could they arrest her for it? 

by Member on Mar. 27, 2014 at 2:19 AM
4 moms liked this

It is not against the law yet, but it is against the common sense of a mother.  I used to be married to an alcoholic, and every alcoholic in the world says "I JUST HAD TWO (2) BEERS.  Do they teach that line at the bar or what?  Anyway, you had more than two beers, the waitress say it and she is not lying, maybe overreacting, but not lying, and the alcolholic is lying.  The reason I know you are an alcoholic, is the fact that you took the baby to a bar which is not illegal either.  The reason the police made the call is BECAUSE THEY KNEW YOU HAD MORE THAN TWO BEERS.

by Member on Mar. 27, 2014 at 2:33 AM
1 mom liked this

"I did'nt know it was illegal".  It is not but did you think it was semi retarded.  The world says we should not use that word, but it fits so good in some situations.  A real mentally disturbed person probably would not have done this. A real person with a real mental disorder would have been able to think this is the time to get a babysitter.  You can go out, you are grown, but you need to introduce the baby to formular or pump your breast and have a couple bottles filled before you start you little drinking binge, which is legal also.  It don't take much to get the charge of ENDANGERING CHILDREN.  The cops could have pressed the endangering charge on who was going to drive the baby home anfer your (2 beers) and it sounds like that is what the judge thought was a safe call. 

by Member on Mar. 27, 2014 at 2:42 AM
2 moms liked this

Question:  Should moms be jailed for breasfeeding while drinking alcohol, nope, they should be slapped real real hard. Just not a good choice to do the two together.  "I only had 2 beers"  lol  lol  lol.  You know I bet after about 2 beers and one drink, you probably do believe "I only had two beers"  for the rest of your life, why you believe that?  Because you are drunk!

by Bronze Member on Mar. 27, 2014 at 10:01 AM
15 moms liked this
I think it's hilarious that she doesn't use formula "because it's less healthy" yet she saw no probl drinking while breast feeding. What an idiot! Sorry but I agree with the cops on this one. She was endangering her baby. I don't think she should get her kid taken away for this one instance, but I do think CPS should do a welfare check. Even if it was just "2 beers" it still will pass through the milk to that poor baby. When I BF my kids I would make sure to pump and dump if I had ANY alcohol. And on the rare occasion that I did it was only one drink and I was paranoid enough to pump and dump for 24 hours just to make sure it was totally gone.
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