May 23, 2022 - News

Preemie formula is nearly impossible to find in North Texas

An empty formula shelf at Target
This has become a heartbreakingly familiar sight to many local families. Photo courtesy of Cormac West.

Parents of babies born prematurely are being hit especially hard by the national formula shortage.

Why it matters: Many preemies are given special formula that helps them gain weight throughout their first 12 months. These formulas are harder to substitute, and, for some babies, going without formula could be catastrophic.

The big picture: The most popular brand of preemie formula, Similac Neosure, seems to be entirely gone from the shelves of North Texas stores, even though it wasn't part of the formula recall earlier this year.

  • Neosure is also nearly impossible to find online. Repeated searches show the formula is out of stock at Amazon, Target, Walmart, Kroger, Albertsons, Tom Thumb and Walgreens.
  • BuyBuyBaby was still taking orders for Neosure as recently as two weeks ago, but those orders were canceled and refunded.

What's happening: Some parents are pleading for help on social media and reaching out to strangers hundreds of miles away in hopes of securing a can.

Meanwhile, some online retailers appear to be charging hundreds of dollars above the usual price.

Yes, but: Because Gov. Greg Abbott hasn't declared a disaster, the state attorney general's gouging laws don't apply.

The bottom line: Many parents of preemies have already experienced serious challenges over the last year, including traumatic deliveries and heartbreaking NICU stays.

  • Now the formula shortage is adding a new level of stress.
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