Being a new mom isn’t easy. In fact, I’d say it’s one of the biggest challenges life can throw at you. Sure, even if you did all the research, read all the books, talked to all your mom friends, and even watched a few YouTube videos on how to change diapers, when that little life finally comes into the world, it’s not what you expected.
And, well, when it happens too soon, it’s certainly not what you expected. And sometimes, your preemie can spend some time in the NICU depending on how early they decided to enter the world.
Depending on when a preemie is born, their sucking reflex may not be fully developed, meaning they are literally incapable of breastfeeding. Plus, it can take longer than usual for mom’s milk to come in since the baby was premature. The only options left are: mom pumps and the baby is bottle fed, donor milk, or formula. Since donor milk isn’t always an option, mom may need to supplement with formula to keep that baby fed. And if baby is in the NICU, that typically means donor milk (if the hospital has it) and/or whatever formula the hospital has on hand.
Recently, my good friend had a baby girl that spent 2 months in the NICU after being born so early that her lungs were not fully developed. As much as this friend smiled for the camera when she posted pictures to her social media (“Celebrating Christmas in the NICU with my little girl! Not how I thought her first Christmas would be, but here we are!”), she secretly admitted to friends and family that she was truly hurting. She couldn’t sleep at night despite not having a screaming newborn reminding her it was feeding time every 2 hours. She lived in constant fear that she would get a call from the hospital that her fragile little girl had taken a turn for the worse.
As much as she got to visit her baby, it wasn’t the same as taking her baby home and surrounding her with all the love and care of family. Fortunately, the hospital had donor milk available, and she knew to insist on supplementing only with the donor milk.
She was lucky. Not all new mothers of preemies are so fortunate.
That’s where Similac and Enfamil formula come in. Babies need to be fed no matter what, especially preemies, and formula is a popular option, particularly in the NICU. BUT – these companies’ products use cow-based ingredients, which is super dangerous for a preemie’s underdeveloped stomach. And it can cause Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). And yes, that’s just as scary as it sounds – nearly half of the time, an infant can die from NEC. Those who survive often end up with life-long health problems.
If this has happened to you, please don’t think it means you did anything knowingly wrong or failed in any way as a mother. No matter what anyone may tell you: you did the best you could to take care of your preemie. It’s not your fault that greedy formula companies LIED to you – and to doctors and nurses – about the safety of their products. The companies’ advertising even lauded the superior nature of their products over mom’s milk, throwing around impressive-sounding words like “DHA” and “Folic Acid.” Sounds like they know what they are talking about, doesn’t it?
You were told that brands like Similac and Enfamil were safe to use. In fact, you probably got a few cans of Enfamil in the mail and/or a few coupons directly from the company as a “gift.” Nothing about it seemed “off.”
That’s the most messed up thing about this entire situation: THIS WAS COMPELETLY PREVENTABLE. The dangers of feeding cow-based formula to preemies is well known, and there are other formulas out there that are safe for preemies to eat.
So – WHY did this happen? Greed, of course. The formula industry makes millions every year and cutting out the preemie market would hurt that bottom line. So it seems to them that hurting and killing infants took a backseat to making money.
IT’S JUST SO WRONG!
This is why we are working with women whose preemies suffered from NEC after eating formula. We need to hold these companies accountable for what they did and help protect other preemies from suffering. If we don’t band together and file lawsuits to stop this, more preemies will suffer.
It’s messed up. And we have to stop it. Now. Contact us now to talk about a lawsuit. We need your help to change this for the better.