NEC and Other Risks of Baby Formula

Formula feeding is considered a standard alternative to offer infants with the correct substances and nutrition to ensure they grow healthy. Even though doctors still believe that breast milk is ideal for infants as it keeps them secure from multiple diseases, it’s not always the obvious choice for caregivers or mothers.

Today, baby formula is highly popular among mothers who find it challenging to breastfeed for specific reasons, for instance, taking medications that can cause harm to their baby. Infant formula has been manufactured to mimic the advantages of breast milk. But recently there have been lawsuits that denote otherwise. 

Parents must be aware of the health hazards of formula feeding such as NEC (necrotizing enterocolitis) and decide better for their newborns. In this article, we will discuss the debilitating effects of NEC and other health issues caused because of formula feeding.

Link Between Baby Formula and NEC

According to the NEC lawsuit update for February 2024, there were nearly 389 baby formula lawsuits stating that it resulted in necrotizing enterocolitis. To date, there haven’t been any global settlements or jury verdicts in MDL. After the discovery is completed, the initial NEC bellwether test trials are scheduled for the first half of 2024. The discussions about jury selection and processes for trials are underway.

Necrotizing enterocolitis is a fatal ailment that adversely impacts the intestines of premature infants. Typically, the symptoms start to appear within the first two weeks of feeding an infant with baby formula rather than breast milk. Here bacteria invade the intestinal wall of the infant and cause inflammation.

This creates a gap or crack which enables harmful germs to leak in the abdomen. When not treated at the right time, it can lead to severe infection and even death. The symptoms of NEC can vary from one infant to the other. But the common ones are:

  • A bloated or swollen belly
  • Any feeding that remains inside an infant’s stomach and fails to move through their intestines
  • The green fluid inside the stomach
  • Blood on stool
  • Reduced heart rate
  • Sluggishness
  • Facing difficulty in breathing

Other medical issues and digestive problems can mimic the NEC symptoms. Therefore, parents must opt for a medical check-up if their infant suffers from any one or more of these symptoms.

Baby Formula Is Not the Best Deal in Infant Nutrition

There have been instances where infants had to undergo surgery after a NEC diagnosis which has left them with severe infections for a lifetime or has resulted in death. Apart from these extreme side effects, there are other reasons why parents need to think twice before they decide to feed their infants with Enfamil or Similac baby formulas.

The primary disadvantage of formula feeding is the substances and components that are included in the baby formula. While the formula comprises sugars, proteins, vitamins, and fats, it doesn’t have the required antibodies that are available in breast milk. These antibodies help to secure infants from any illnesses and infections like celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, leukemia, type 1 and 2 diabetes, asthma, and even necrotizing enterocolitis.

The other aspect to consider here is the manufacturing process of baby formula. Most baby formula products are manufactured inside a sterile facility. Hence, the question to ponder here is this -what will happen in case the formula gets contaminated?

The answer is, it will result in fatal bacterial infections. 

One such bacteria is Cronobacter sakazakii, which is available in powdered or dry foods and can lead to extreme bacterial infections which can make infants suffer immensely. Newborns with a weak immune system or prematurely born are vulnerable to such infections. Therefore, parents must understand the pros and cons of formula feeding instead of getting carried away by the ads and choose wisely.

Navigating the Legal Path

Parents whose infants have been diagnosed with NEC or any other health issue should file a legal claim and seek monetary compensation for their losses, pain, and suffering. TorHoerman Law says that baby formula lawsuits can bring a change in the way premature infants are fed in the NICU. To date, more than 330 lawsuits have been successfully filed, and the first trial has been set for February 20th, 2024.

Contacting a lawyer is the best way to move through your legal journey. The lawyer is the best person to determine if you are eligible for a legal claim and will guide you accordingly. From collecting evidence and using it to develop a strong case, they will do it all to ensure that you get compensated for your damages.

In conclusion, parents should be careful about infant nutrition and make sure that they choose products that benefit their infant’s health. Formula feeding appears attractive as an alternative, but the health hazards that infants have been facing have placed doubts in the minds of parents. Furthermore, parents whose infants have already been affected by baby formula feeding should seek medical and legal aid.


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