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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.