Perinatal Drug Testing Lab

Breast Milk Drug Testing

In 2008, the CDC reported that in the United States more than 70 percent of mothers breast feed their babies. This high level of participation is due to the growing list of health benefits provided to both the mother and the newborn.

The 2008 publication of data from the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health indicated that 5.2 percent of pregnant women had used illicit drugs in the month prior to the survey. In addition, 11.6 percent of pregnant women acknowledged alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

Most drugs of abuse readily pass into human breast milk. While therapeutic levels of prescription drugs may be considered compatible with breastfeeding, abuse levels may be problematic for the infant.

USDTL offers 5, 7, 9, 12 and 13 drug test panels in human breast milk. All presumptive specimens identified by our immunoassay screening are confirmed by LC/MS/MS or GC/MS. The method requires 10 mL of breast milk collected in a sterile container. Results will be provided in 2 to 3 days after the sample is received in the laboratory.

Click here to download the breast milk drug panels.

Click here to view the Breast Milk Resources page.

Drug Panels

  • 13 Panel
  • 12 Panel
  • 9 Panel
  • 7 Panel
  • 5 Panel
Amphetamines
amphetamine, MDA, MDMA, methamphetamine
Cannabinoids
carboxy-THC
Cocaine
benzoylecgonine, cocaethylene, cocaine, meta- hydroxybenzoylecgonine
Opiates
codeine, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, morphine
Phencyclidine
phencyclindine (PCP)
Methadone
EDDP, methadone
Barbiturates
amobarbital, butalbital, pentobarbital, phenobarbital, secobarbital
Benzodiazepines
alprazolam, diazepam, midazolam, nordiazepam, oxazepam, temazepam
Propoxyphene
propoxyphene, norpropoxyphene
Oxycodone
oxycodone
Meperidine
meperidine, normeperidine
Tramadol
tramadol, o-desmethyltramadol, n-desmethyltramadol
Buprenorphine
buprenorphine, norbuprenorphine
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*Click the green and white plus sign beside each drug class to view the substances within each class.
Add-Ons Available
Ethanol
ethanol
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Collection

Collection Instructions
Collection Steps
Collect minimum of 10 mL
A minimum of 10 mL of breast milk is required to test.
Transfer milk to urine cup
Transfer the breast milk to the sterile urine cup.
Place donor's identification number on the specimen container
Place the donor’s identification number on the specimen container. The ID number may be the hospital laboratory accession number, or any other unique identifying number of the collection facility’s choosing. The hospital patient ID label/sticker may be utilized to satisfy this step.
Place the donor’s name and ID number
Place the donor’s name and ID number on the Custody and Control form.
Mark the “Other” specimen type box and enter “Breast Milk”
Mark the “Other”specimen type box and enter “Breast Milk” in the blank area, then (5a) select all test(s) that have been ordered.
Seal with tamper evident seal and place barcode
The specimen container must be sealed with a tamper evident seal. Match/verify the donor’s information on the Custody and Control form with the donor’s information on the specimen container. Peel off the barcode sticker on the bottom of the Custody and Control form. Place the bar-coded, tamper-evident seal over the cap. Failure to place a tamper-evident seal over the cap will result in a rejected specimen.
(see photo of properly sealed specimen to the right)
Initial and date the tamper-evident seal(s)
Initial and date the tamper-evident seal(s).
The processor must print, sign and date
The processor must print, sign and date the Collector/Processor Certification section of the Custody and Control form.
Place the Custody and Control form in the large pouch of the plastic specimen bag provided.
Place the original, white copy (Copy 1 LAB Copy) of the Custody and Control form in the large pouch of the plastic specimen bag provided.
Place the sealed specimen container in the small pouch of the specimen bag and seal the specimen bag.
Place the sealed specimen container in the small pouch of the specimen bag and seal the specimen bag.
Place specimen container in bag
Place the specimen bag in the cardboard box and place the box in an appropriate courier transport overwrap.
Contact Courier
Contact your courier for pick-up.
Client Services

By Phone: 1.800.235.2367

Business Hours (CST)

Monday 6am - 8pm
Tuesday 6am - 8pm
Wednesday 6am - 8pm
Thursday 6am - 8pm
Friday 6am - 8pm

Contact Client Services

Testing Details

Panel Name: Breast MilkTesting

Panel Description: Breast Milk Testing Drug Panel

Type: Profile

Matrix: Breast Milk

Collection Container: Leakproof Polypropylene

Sample Amount: 10 ml

Storage Conditions: Refrigerated

Transport Conditions: Ambient

Method: Initial screening test with confirmation of presumptive positives

Turn-Around Time: 1 day for negatives / 2-3 days for positives

  • References
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Does the sample need to be frozen?

No, the sample may be shipped ambient.

How much breast milk is needed?

Requested sample volume is 10 milliliters collected in a sterile container.

When will I receive breast milk results?

Results will be provided in two to three days after the sample is received in the laboratory.

Why was one matrix positive and another negative on the same donor?

There are several explanations for this. 

  1. Different sample matrices have different detection time frames. The result of any second collected specimen has no bearing on the validity of a first collected specimen. For example, a hair sample with a three month window of detection might test positive for a particular substance, while a urine sample from the same donor, with a 2-3 day window of detection, might test negative. In this case, the donor has used that substance within the past three months, but may not have used it within the most recent three days.
  2. The result of any second collected specimen has no bearing on the validity of a first collected specimen. Therefore, a negative result observed for the umbilical cord does not refute a positive result observed on the maternal urine specimen and the reverse is true as well. There are many legitimate reasons for discrepant urine and umbilical cord results. 
  3. The urine specimen was a screen only result and was not confirmed using an appropriate mass spectrometric method. The screen only urine result is a clinically valid result, however, without an appropriate mass spectrometric confirmation, the urine result has no value in a forensic proceeding. 
  4. Lastly, some placentas can prevent some compounds from reaching the fetus. There are documented cases of maternal ingestion without in utero exposure.




contact USDTL

1.800.235.2367

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