A Mother’s Nightmare: Newborn Dies After Drinking Baby Formula

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infant formula deathIn what can only be described as a complete and utter tragedy, a 10-day-old Missouri boy has died from an apparent bacterial infection after consuming Enfamil baby formula bought at a Walmart store. The boy, Avery Cornett, was showing signs of stomach pain and lethargy when his parents brought him to a hospital last Wednesday. He was quickly transferred to another hospital, where it was determined he’d contracted a rare bacterial infection Cronobacter sakazakii.

Samples of the baby formula were sent to the FDA and CDC for testing. It could take several days before the test results are available, though Walmart isn’t taking any chances; the retail chain has pulled a batch of Enfamil infant formula from more than 3,000 of its stores nationwide.

Needless to say, this news is devastating. It makes us feel so vulnerable as parents and it’s a scenario that most moms, myself included, cannot even fathom (I have to not let my brain truly ‘go there’ in order to just write about it). What’s so frightening to so many parents, beyond the obvious loss of life, is that so many of us have fed our babies formula.

Of course, there are those who choose not to breastfeed for a variety of reasons, and there are those who simply cannot despite their intentions. There are also women who nurse their babies but supplement with formula. And then there are those, like me, who chose to breastfeed but who switched over to formula at around eight months. Whatever category you fall under, you can’t help but think the worst (“What if this had been my child?”).

At this point, nobody knows if it’s the actual Enfamil formula that caused the baby’s infection. The water used to prepare the formula is also being tested and, as our sister site Blisstree points out, any food can get contaminated with bacteria – even vegetables from your own backyard and especially processed food. Not sure if this makes me feel better or worse but one thing’s for certain and that’s that I’ll be squeezing my children extra tight this evening. I’ll also be thinking of Avery’s parents and what a terrible loss they’ve suffered – one that puts things into perspective during this frantic holiday season.


  1. Cee

    December 22, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    The breastfeeding divas will exploit this..sad

  2. Becki

    December 22, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Cee, I was thinking the same thing. “Oh dear. Bring on the ‘breast is best’ comments…” So very sad.

  3. Clobberella

    December 22, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Cee & Becki, it’s funny, but I don’t see any comments to that effect. In fact, I’ve seen this story in 3 different places today, and I haven’t seen any comments to that effect anywhere else, either… only comments exactly like yours. THAT is what’s sad.

    • Mel

      December 22, 2011 at 7:40 pm

      They only say it because it’s bound to happen. I guarantee there are women reading this that have thought something along the lines of “breast is best” without commenting about it. And I don’t think that Becki and Cee’s comments are “sad.” They’re simply saying what some others, myself included, are thinking.

    • Cee

      December 22, 2011 at 8:50 pm

      Ive seen many stories like this exploited for the “breast is best” people THAT is what is sad. I have a goddaughter who would and can go into in anaphylactic shock if she ingests anything containing milk, and YES that also means breast MILK. She drank formula and I hate telling this story (this is the first) because I don’t need to have a “convincing enough” story for lactivists to tell me I had good reason enough for them.
      I HATE when people exploit stories like this. The only thing these stories used to do to my family when my goddaughter was an infant was scare the shit out of us and make us feel sorry for whoever had to go through the misfortune of ingesting tainted formula and all I would see is sanctimommies almost sounding like they deserved misfortune because we fed our infants “poison powder”

  4. Fussabugg

    December 23, 2011 at 8:41 am

    oooh! The breast feeding enthusiasts are gonna be all over this one! lol

  5. Pingback: Enfamil Baby Formula Unrelated To Newborn’s Death

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