Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Diluting Baby Formula

I could hardly believe it when I read this story from ABC. A five month old baby almost died because his mom was trying to save money on baby formula. It is just so sad. The mom was watering down her baby's formula to make it last longer.

As if unemployment numbers weren't enough, the story of an infant in Florida really hit the country as a sign we are in desperate economic times: Five-month-old La'Damian Barton almost died Monday from watered-down formula because his mother tried to cut costs. Child care and poverty advocates say poor families have always had to make dangerous decisions to cut back. Now, with the economy in trouble, experts say more families are likely to try cutting doctor visits or skipping their own meals so the children can eat.

One of our reporters-Nishi Gupta-wrote this story for HOI.

Pediatricians say parents should never dilute their baby formula with more water than what's recommended. They have seen babies who have become deficient in nutrients. It can even affect their hearts and cause seizures. They say the recommended amount will give your baby the right amount of nutrition, fats and proteins.

Doctors say don't mix scoops between formulas either because they are not all the same. Baby formulas can be expensive, but there are community and church services like shelters and food pantries that can help.

I had to stop nursing my first child at around 4 months due to some medication I was taking. When I started buying formula, OMG! It was so expensive. I think it was about $27-$28 a week. Going from $0 when you breastfeed to that is insane! I have been encouraging people I know who are nursing and supplementing to start drinking more water and pumping or nursing every 3 hours to increase their milk supply. Not just to save money, but because the FDA last week said they found trace amounts of melamine in baby formula. The FDA says it's so small, there's no concern. But still!

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

Methodist Medical Center's new online healthcare program, MyMethodist eHealth, is a proud sponsor of this blog post. MyMethodist eHealth is the secure link to your doctor's office that lets you request appointments, order prescription refills, update your personal health record, and more. Sign up for MyMethodist eHealth here.

6 comments:

Maria said...

The FDA also said, when melamine was found in Chinese formula, that they could not say any level was safe.

I feel for these families who chose not to or could not nurse and now are struggling. Yet another reason to promote breastfeeding, IMO.

Audria said...

Did the baby actually die? The little clip of info on the hoi website says the baby died, but on your page it says he almost died. I hope it was almost...that is so sad.

Anonymous said...

The Crittenton Center in Peoria offers needy families 2 cans of baby formula per month with no questions asked. You do not have to be on welfare or any other type of government assistance to qualify. Although every little bit helps, most parents that purchase baby formula for their children know that 2 cans do not last long. I think that more needs to be done for families that are struggling financially, especially those that make just enough to be considered above the poverty line and do not qualify for food stamps. The government should not allow our children and families to suffer due to the greed of the very few rich executives at the top collecting all the profits of hard working Americans.

fostermomof2leggeds said...

I am a foster mom and I get WIC for the babies under one year. Low income familys can go to the health department and get formula vouchers for there infants. I know how expensive formula is and I donate what I don't use to our local food pantry.

Anonymous said...

The issue of WIC upsets me because we are a family who would be lower, middle class (and both work) but we don't qualify for WIC. I tried to breastfeed and couldn't, so formula has our option. It was SO hard to afford it and admitedly, everytime I made a bottle, I thought about not putting in as much because of the cost and to save money. Let's just say that I definately didn't put too much in but not enough to effect my baby. I am not condoning what the person in the story did and feel so sad for that baby. But let's be honest, the welfare system only works for 'some' people. The rest of us have to pay for our formula, juice, baby food, car seats, etc. I wish I would have known about the Crittenton help!

Anonymous said...

...exactly my point, anonymous. The system did not work for us either. We made "too much". The Crittenton Center did what they could to help. They are wonderful ppl over there. It was still not enough to get us by but like I said before, every little bit helps. The issue of WIC upsets me, too. We were just as needy as the ones who qualified but we made just a tiny bit too much. Sad.

 
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