Health

Mother says she’s struggling to feed her two-month-old because of shortage of special formula

Mother Shannon Gadd, 25, was unable to buy the special formula for her daughter Fiadh Rose
Written by Publishing Team

A mother said she was struggling to feed her two-month-old daughter, who was born prematurely after learning there was a nationwide shortage of special formula milk.

Fiadh Rose weighed just 2lbs 12oz when she was delivered by Caesarean section at Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby last November.

Her mother Shannon Gadd, 25, used breast milk for eight weeks to give her daughter the ‘best fighting chance’, but as her weight continued to drop she was recommended to switch her to Nutriprem 2 from Cow and Gate.

The special formula – which helps premature and low birth weight babies gain weight – is fortified with essential vitamins and minerals to meet baby’s nutritional needs after discharge from hospital.

However, due to a shortage, Mrs Gadd was unable to buy the vital product for her baby, which left Fiadh sick and dehydrated.

Mother Shannon Gadd, 25, was unable to buy the special formula for her daughter Fiadh Rose

Fiadh Rose weighed just 2lbs 12oz when she was delivered by Caesarean section at Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby

Fiadh Rose weighed just 2lbs 12oz when she was delivered by Caesarean section at Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby

The mum, from New Holland, North Lincolnshire, said: ‘I was told Fiadh had stopped growing two weeks before he was born due to a growth problem, so the doctor performed a Caesarean section.

“She was taken to NICU for five weeks where I used breast milk in a bottle for eight weeks to give her the best chance to fight.

“But her weight dropped and she needed extra calories because my milk wasn’t enough for her growing appetite.

“I made the very difficult decision to try and transition her to the formula with Cow and Gate Nutriprem 2 recommended.

“She loved it but we last ran out on Dec 27 and haven’t been able to order any since.”

Ms Gadd said her baby got worse after starting new formula and had to be treated for dehydration.

She continued: “We were fine until Fiadh got worse on December 28 when she started getting sick from the new formula.

“She was taking a small amount of milk and then bringing it back, she was really hungry and upset.

“I was starting to worry about her so I called 111 and they told me to be seen by someone immediately.

“A doctor immediately admitted us and said that Fiadh would have to be treated for dehydration.”

Ms Gadd said she now fears the shortage will ‘take its toll’ on the health of her child, who weighs just 5lbs 6oz so far.

The mum said: ‘She weighs just 5lbs 6oz so far and is below her percentile – a growth chart indicating where a baby should be at her age.

“I’ve been told how important the Cow & Gate formula is, but I can’t buy it anywhere.

Fiadh was taken to NICU for five weeks after she was born premature in November last year

Fiadh was taken to NICU for five weeks after she was born premature in November last year

Ms Gadd said she used breast milk for eight weeks to give her daughter the

Ms Gadd said she used breast milk for eight weeks to give her daughter the ‘best fighting chance’ but as her weight continued to drop she was recommended to switch her to Cow and Gate’s Nutriprem 2 .

“I went to pharmacies and pharmacies in Hull, Scunthorpe, Immingham and Grimsby to be told there was no more stock.

“I tried to contact Cow & Gate to find out there was a national shortage of this product.

“I have the impression of having gone from pillar to post without any joy.

“How can it be out of stock when it’s designed only for premature and underweight babies?”

The mum said the switch to formula had left her daughter with more reflux and could now see her daughter lose more weight.

She told Grimsby Live: “Not being on formula is damaging Fiadh’s health.

The special formula is fortified with essential vitamins and minerals to meet a baby's nutritional needs

The special formula is fortified with essential vitamins and minerals to meet a baby’s nutritional needs

“She started having more reflux and she also started having tar-like stools.

“I am so worried about Fiadh because the doctor confirmed it was related to the many diet changes.

‘The question I ask now is, how am I going to feed my baby?

“We had to go out and get normal milk which we know is making her sick and not fortified enough for her to lose weight.

“I don’t know what we’re supposed to do.

A Danone representative said: “We were sorry to learn of Shannon’s story.

“We are experiencing isolated short-term incidents of low availability on our Cow & Gate Nutriprem 2 800g powder formula product.

“We understand how confusing and frustrating it can be for parents not being able to find the products they need.

“We are working hard to get products back on shelves as soon as possible.

“We are sending supplies of Nutriprem 2,800g products, and these should start to be available in stores towards the end of this week.

‘Although this may vary by store and region.

‘We have good availability of our Nutriprem 2 200ml liquid product (same formula) which is also an option.

“In the meantime, we want to do whatever we can to help.

“If Shannon would like to get in touch, we can help you find supplies or possible alternatives.”

In May last year, a shortage of Cow & Gate and Aptamil formula milks caused a national panic among parents.

Tesco, Asda, Boots and Sainsbury’s were among the major stores that reported shortages of baby formula.

Singer Paloma Faith said she had tried Asda and Boots but “to no avail”, tweeting at the time: “The search for ready-to-drink Aptamil continues…”

Cow & Gate and Aptamil, both owned by food giant Danone, said the shortage was caused by “an issue with an ingredient used to prevent foaming” during milk production.

In 2020, a survey by the National Retail Federation found that baby formula made up 13% of the most stolen items from stores in the United States.

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