If You are Pregnant and Use Drugs, Please Don’t Breastfeed

A plastic container of baby food next to a bottle.

Dora Yoder nursed her infant son at 2:00 a.m. however, later that morning, she could not wake him up. The infant’s death, initially thought to be caused by SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), later aroused suspicion from homicide detectives.  Dr. Carmen Puliafito, a former Medical School Dean, contacted the authorities to report the baby’s non-responsiveness as opposed to the baby’s parents.

It took almost three years for authorities to determine that Baby Yoder died from drinking the amphetamine-infested breastmilk of his mother. Dora Yoder allegedly received money to purchase drugs from Dr. Carmen Puliafito.

Puliafito was a Harvard-educated ophthalmologist who also held an MBA from Wharton’s School of Business and worked at USC Med School from 2007 to 2016; however, his erratic behavior reported by his colleagues resulted in termination from his prestigious job as the Dean of Admission.


Although the court of public opinion could write volumes about Puliafito’s unprofessional behavior that contributed to Dora Yoder’s drug addiction, the more critical message involves the dangers of breastfeeding a newborn baby by an opioid-addicted mother. The National Institute of Health reports that there are severe consequences for your newborn baby if you breastfeed while using substances such as heroin, opioids, methamphetamine, smoke cigarettes, or drink alcohol.

If you struggle with substance addiction, there’s help. Contact the SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Association) national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

All babies’ lives are sacred, especially yours.



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