CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Many American families struggling to find baby formula across the country right now, as there is a nationwide shortage. One baby in the Lowcountry is hospitalized because of the shortage.
“We have tried everything. We need to have her on the most hypoallergenic formula to see if this will indeed help her to keep her out of the hospital,” says Savannah Wheatley, the mother of 11 week old Clo.
Clo has allergies and gastro-intestinal issues that make feeding difficult. She can only tolerate one specific amino acid-based formula.
“I did the breastfeeding thing for a little. I am still pumping, but right now this formula is best for her because it is the most hypoallergenic,” says Wheatley.
When the formula became scarce on the shelves Wheatley began looking everywhere, even posting a desperate plea on Facebook.
“I can’t even believe that we are living in this right now. It feels very weird and scary. We looked everywhere and even looked at a CVS that was 45 minutes from our house,” says Wheatley.
It’s not just Clo’s special formula that’s in short supply. Formulas of all types are scarce and parents are frantically trying to find solutions, some of which pediatric dieticians say make things worse.
“I’ve seen everything from almonds, milking their own almonds, and flax seeds. I have seen adding fish oil, cobb liver oil all of those things can be super dangerous,” says Megan Foxe, a Pediatric Critical Care Dietician at MUSC.
While Clo’s parents have done everything they can, the formula shortage is out of their hands and Wheatley believes it has contributed to Clo’s medical issues.
“It just makes you think, what if you know. What if we had our hands on things sooner, would we be where we are today,” she says.
Wheatley says Clo was moved from the PICU to Acute care and is doing better, but she is not sure yet when they will go home.