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‘Failure to thrive’ -- Michigan health experts warn parents the dangers of homemade baby formula

‘Failure to thrive’ -- Michigan health experts warn parents the dangers of homemade baby formula
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 10:30 PM EDT|Updated: May. 11, 2022 at 11:08 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The baby formula shortage is becoming a major issue for parents trying to feed their children.

With zero-to-very little selection at most grocery stores, some parents have taken the advice of people online and have attempted to make their own. Doctors said that’s not the right choice and can be dangerous.

People may not realize the long-term ramifications of trying to feed a homemade formula to their child.

Kaye Jackson is a new mother who is concerned she won’t be able to feed her baby if the formula shortage doesn’t go away. She said her doctor suggested her one-month-old baby to use Enfamil NeuroPro. Unfortunately, that’s becoming more and more difficult to find.

“I am extremely scared,” Jackson said. “I have looked at Walmart and they did have some at one time and unfortunately, now we can’t find it at all. I’ve even had people going out of state to find it.”

At one point, Jackson saw posts on social media showing how people could make their own formula at home. Luckily, she consulted her physician first, who told her to steer clear. It’s a sentiment shared by Dr. Farhan Bhatti.

“That can be very very dangerous. The nutritional requirements for infants can be very precise,” Bhatti said.

Without the right about of calories, protein and vitamins they need to grow, Bhatti said babies can end up hospitalized.

“In the hospital, we have babies that are admitted for something called ‘failure to thrive,’ which is where in most cases they’re just not getting the calories and nutrition they need to grow effectively. That’s a huge risk if you start trying to mix things on your own,” Bhatti said. “When a baby’s physical growth is delayed, their mental growth can also be delayed. You can see a global developmental delay in kids who aren’t getting the nutrition that they need.”

Bhatti said it’s OK to use a different brand of formula if the one you prefer isn’t on the shelf, just make sure the type of formula remains the same.

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