Open Accessibility Menu

Baby Formula Shortages Are Impacting Families Nationwide

  • Category: Blogs
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Erin Wallner
Baby Formula Shortages Are Impacting Families Nationwide

The pandemic and its impacts to the global supply chain have led to shortages of a wide range of consumer goods – including baby formula. Coupled with the shutdown of one the largest baby formula manufacturing facilities, this latest shortage has parents searching store shelves and for alternative solutions. Flagler Health+ Pediatricians have offered the following advice to help parents navigate this stressful time.

Safety is Paramount

"On the surface it seems like adding additional water to formula is a simple solution to stretch formula usage, however it can be dangerous to babies. This dilutes the formula making it contain fewer calories per ounce and not provide enough calories for your baby to thrive. This dilution can also cause sodium levels to drop, potentially leading to dangerous consequences, including seizures,” said Flagler Health+ Pediatrician Meredith Brazell, MD.

And although recipes for homemade formulas are circulating widely on the Internet, the outcomes can be particularly dangerous, even deadly. “Homemade mixtures are inadequate at giving babies the proper balance of nutrients that is critical for them to grow and develop,” said Flagler Health+ Pediatrician, Kaylan Brady, MD. “These mixtures may be missing vital nutrients including iron, calcium and other vitamins or they could have too much sodium, electrolytes or other nutrients that can be dangerous for babies with immature gut and kidneys.”

Use Your Network

In this situation, there are some advantages to living in the digital age. Reach out to your family, friends, coworkers and neighbors to ask for their assistance watching store shelves. Let them know the type of formula you’re seeking and ask them to keep their eyes peeled while they are out shopping. They say it takes a village to raise a child, this is a perfect opportunity to lean on your village.

If you are having difficulties finding the formula your baby is used to consuming, contact your pediatrician’s office for recommendations specific to that brand or to see if they have samples on hand.

Find an Alternative Formula Brand

Generic and store brands are safe, regulated by the FDA, and nutritionally equivalent as their name brand counterparts. And as a bonus, they are often less expensive.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has also launched a website to help parents connect with baby formula resources amid the nationwide shortage. The site includes manufacturer hotlines, community resources and information for WIC-eligible families.

With some experts predicting that the shortage could last through the remainder of the year, it is extremely important to communicate with your pediatrician should you have any questions or need to make a change to your child’s feeding routine.