A mom who was breastfeeding her baby while drinking was arrested and later released, while the waitress that reported her to authorities got fired.
The woman, who was jailed for endangering the welfare of her child, said she did not realize she was breaking the law when she decided to breastfeed her child and drink.
In her first on-camera interview with ABC’s 20/20 the mother of three, identified as Tasha Adams, said:
“I did drink. I did breastfeed,I didn’t know it was illegal. If I knew it was illegal, I wouldn’t have done it.”
The child endangerment charges against Adams were dropped last week by deputy city attorney for Conway, Arkansas, Chuck Clawson, because there wasn’t any evidence the 28-year-old mom was drinking excessively while breastfeeding her eight-month-old daughter.
Even though Adams and her family — which includes two other children ages six and two — live in the town of Toad Suck, Arkansas, where alcohol is banned, the offense took place in Conway, which is not a dry town.
Following the funeral of a friend, Adams and her parents stopped to grab a bite to eat at Gusano’s Restaurant in Conway. She had her-then six-month-old baby with her, as she was still nursing her.
“We had a pizza, and then we had a big old thing of spinach dip,” Adams stated. “Then, I had a beer with that, and then I had another one later on after.”
According to Adams’ statement, during the half-an-hour that her family spent dining at the restaurant she had two beers and nothing more, which contradicts the recollection of an off-duty waitress.
Jackie Conners said that when she arrived early for a staff meeting, she saw something very disturbing to her.
Conners told 20/20 that the group appeared to be having a good time, until the baby started fussing, by this time things had gotten louder and louder at the table Adams and her family were dining at.
“There were several drinks in front of her, about… two or three drinks in front of her already, when I got there. 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.”
The waitress reported the breastfeeding mother, however, she was told by management they had decided not to cut the alcohol served to the table, so she then took matters into her own hands and called police.
Adams recalls that when police arrived she was informed:
“‘Ma’am, we’ve got a report that you were drinking alcohol while breastfeeding’. I said, ‘OK, I didn’t know that was illegal.'”
Arkansas law doesn’t stipulate anything about drinking and breastfeeding, however, officers asked the mom to call a sober family member to drive the baby home and took her into custody.
Adams insisted she was not drunk while breastfeeding, but police did not let the mom bring her baby with her.
“I can’t believe this, you know. I’m so… I’m more worried about my kid, because I even asked them. I said, ‘Can I bring her with me?'”
“If I’m drunk, I feel, you know, that I’m not able to take care of my kids. I wish they would’ve given me a Breathalyzer so it could be proven.”
According to ob-gyn Dr. Jennifer Ashton, not enough research has been done on drinking and breastfeeding and even though alcohol is present in the system, it is unclear how much gets filtered into the mother’s milk.
As to Conner, who said she was only trying to do the right thing, she was fired the week after Adams’ arrest and insists she would do the same thing all over again.
Adams also states that she is convinced she had not been drinking in excess while breastfeeding her baby. The mother of three says, “I’ll say it till the day I die, I was sober enough to breastfeed my kid.”
[Image via Shutterstock]