A mother has said she is struggling to feed her two-month-old daughter who was born prematurely because of a national shortage of a special formula milk.
Fiadh Rose weighed just 2Ibs and 12oz when she was delivered via 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 transition her to Cow and Gate’s Nutriprem 2.
The special formula – which helps preterm and low birth-weight babies gain weight – is enriched with key vitamins and minerals to support a baby’s nutritional needs after they are discharged from hospital.
However, due to a shortage, Ms Gadd has been unable to buy the vital product for her baby, causing Fiadh to become sick and dehydrated.
Mother Shannon Gadd, 25, has been unable to buy the special formula milk for her daughter Fiadh Rose
Fiadh Rose weighed just 2Ibs and 12oz when she was delivered via caesarean section at Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby
The mother, from New Holland, North Lincolnshire, said: ‘I was told Fiadh had stopped growing two weeks prior to her birth because of a growth issue so doctor’s performed a Caesarean.
‘She was taken into the NICU for five weeks where I used breast milk in a bottle for eight weeks to give her the best fighting chance.
‘But her weight dropped and she needed extra calories because my milk wasn’t enough for her growing appetite.
‘I took the very hard decision to try and transition her into formula with Cow and Gate Nutriprem 2 recommended.
‘She loved it but we last we ran out on December 27 and haven’t been able to order any since.’
Ms Gadd said her baby took a turn for the worst after she began a new formula and had to be treated for dehydration.
She continued: ‘We were doing well until Fiadh took a turn for the worst on December 28 when she began to be sick from the new formula.
‘She was taking a little amount of milk and then bringing it back up so she was really hungry and upset.
‘I was getting worried about her so I rang 111 and they told me to be seen by someone immediately.
‘A doctor admitted us straight away and said Fiadh was going to need to be treated for dehydration.’
Ms Gadd said she now fears the shortage is ‘taking its toll’ on her child’s health, who only weighs 5Ibs 6oz to this day.
The mother said: ‘She only weighs 5Ibs 6oz to this day and is below her centile – a growth chart indicating where a guideline baby should be at their age.
‘I’ve been told how important the Cow & Gate formula is but I can’t buy it anywhere.
Fiadh was taken into the NICU for five weeks after she was born prematurely in November last year
Ms Gadd said 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 transition her to Cow and Gate’s Nutriprem 2
‘I’ve been to chemists and pharmacies in Hull, Scunthorpe, Immingham and Grimsby to be told it’s out of stock.
‘I’ve tried contacting Cow & Gate to find there’s a national shortage of this product.
‘It feels like I’ve been passed from pillar to post without any joy.
‘How can it be out of stock when it’s made only for premature and under weight babies?’
The mother said the change in formula milk has left her daughter suffering from more reflux and could now see her daughter lose more weight.
She told Grimsby Live: ‘Not being on the formula is taking its toll on Fiadh’s health.
The special formula is enriched with key vitamins and minerals to support their nutritional needs of a baby
‘She’s started to have more reflux and she also started having tar like bowel motion.
‘I’m so worried for Fiadh because the doctor has confirmed that it’s to do with the many diet changes.
‘The question I ask now is, how am I going to feed my baby?
‘We’ve had to go out and get normal milk which we know makes her sick and it’s not enriched enough so she’s going to lose weight.
‘I don’t know what we are supposed to do.’
A representative from Danone said: ‘We were sorry to hear about Shannon’s story.
‘We are experiencing some short-term, isolated incidents of low availability on our Cow & Gate Nutriprem 2 800g powder formula product.
‘We do appreciate how unsettling and frustrating it can be for parents to not be able to find the products they need.
‘We are working hard to get products back onto shelves as soon as possible.
‘We are sending out 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 everything we can to help.
‘If Shannon would like to get in touch, we can help locate supplies or possible alternatives.’
In May last year a shortage of ready-made Cow & Gate and Aptamil formula milk caused a nationwide panic among parents.
Tesco, Asda, Boots and Sainsbury’s were among the high street shops that reported a short supply of the baby milk formula.
Singer Paloma Faith said she had tried Asda and Boots but ‘to no avail’, tweeting at the time: ‘The search for Aptamil ready to drink 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 accounted for 13 per of the most stolen items from stores in the US.
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