Formula Additive SimplyThick Causes Infant Illness and Death

SimplyThick Seven babies have died after being fed a formula or breastmilk additive called SimplyThick–designed to help premature babies swallow and keep down liquids.


Although the FDA has warned against the use of the product for premature infants, SimplyThick is widely available. Continued use of the thickener led to twenty-one infants developing inflamed intestines, seven of whom died.


The [FDA] first warned in May 2011 against feeding SimplyThick to premature babies because it may cause a tissue inflammation known as necrotizing enterocolitis. The FDA is expanding the warning today to infants of all ages. Further study is needed to determine if a link between SimplyThick and the condition exists, FDA said.


Read more: Baby Deaths Linked to Infant Formula Additive, FDA Says


Melanie Mayo-Laakso is the Content Manager for Mothering is the birthplace of natural family living and attachment parenting. We celebrate the experience of parenthood as worthy of one’s best efforts and are at once fierce advocates for children and gentle supporters of parents.


5 thoughts on “Formula Additive SimplyThick Causes Infant Illness and Death”

  1. Do you know if Thick-it has had the same problems? It’s most commonly used for geriatric patients who would not have the same problems with immature digestive tracts, but I do occasionally get customers who want to use it for infants.

  2. Using thickeners is not a “gimmick.” My son had to use it because he would respirate while drinking breast milk/formula without it. Breastfeeding does not always solve everything.

  3. my daughter suffered left vocal cord paralysis after having open heart surgery at just 3 days old. I pumped breast milk for her and had to thicken it so she could swallow safely without aspirating. This makes me upset…I know that several premie infants passed away from developing nec after using this product…very sad 🙁 I questioned our hospital about it’s use when they had the recall in May bc heart babies have gastro issues already and she said she would be fine. My daughter had diarrhea for over 6 weeks! We have stopped using the thickener.

  4. as i understand necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), giving a preemie anything but pure human milk puts them at risk for developing NEC. These companies should spend less on advertising and more on safety, as sometimes pure breastmilk just isnt an option

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