While most of the coverage I have seen about the death of 10-day-old Avery Cornett has been respectful, I have seen some commentary that has made my blood boil. There is a group of women, I don’t even know what to call them, who are berating the mother of Avery for allowing her newborn son to be on formula. Obviously with sensationalized headlines making it seem as though both Wal-Mart and the makers of Enfamil formula are directly to blame for this tragedy, too many conclusions are being jumped into, onto and every other preposition possible.
A mother is without her baby.
A family is without their brother, son, nephew and grandson.
Believe me, now is not the time to be preaching about breast being best, because breast is not always an option, nor is breast best in every situation.
Believe me, I am your boobs’ biggest fan and no one wants a new mom to succeed at breastfeeding more than me. Not only is it free and super convenient, it’s pretty darn amazing. Your body making food to keep that little baby alive? Wondrous process breastfeeding is. I was never able to fill my baby’s belly with breastmilk, through some known issues and some great mystery, my breasts never stepped up to the task despite grand efforts.
Only very few people know why Avery was being fed formula, yet the assumption that some people are making is that his mom was lazy. I can assure you, bottle feeding does not a lazy life enable. Perhaps she had a really rough delivery, perhaps she was suffering from severe postpartum anxiety and depression, perhaps she was supplementing as she worked on her own milk supply, perhaps for any number of legitimate reasons she was simply unable to breastfeed. Regardless, I’d like to believe she was doing the absolute best she could with the situation she was in.
I can admit to making mistakes at 3 am when there’s two bottles, one new and one several hours old on the nightstand. I’ve caught myself the few times that it has happened but the truth is we all make mistakes as parents, and sometimes it’s not even our fault, things are just out of our control. Whatever happened to Avery, whether it was the formula, the cleanliness or something completely unrelated…it’s not anyone’s place to judge this mom. It’s our place to lend support to another mother who is experiencing quite possibly the worst sadness of her life.