Baby formula availability has hit a brick wall as an unprecedented number of issues have affected the supply chain. Product recalls due to contaminated supplies, the shutdown of a major baby formula processing plant, volatile stocks, and inflation have compounded the supply problem. The infant formula supply issue began when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Stores like Walmart, Target, CVS, and Walgreens have been setting limits on how many baby formula products customers can purchase. Parents are now traveling to neighboring states to seek out baby formula for their little ones.
Parents are stressing as they desperately figure out where to buy formula for their infants.
It can be extremely distressing to not know how to feed one’s baby. Working mothers, single fathers, or mothers whose breast milk has dried up all need infant formula.
One woman, whose child has a serious immune and digestive disorder called Eosinophilic Esophagitis, is trying to organize caregivers. She is asking them to contact Congress. Her website states:
“Across the US, thousands of children and adults affected by digestive diseases such as eosinophilic disorders (EGID) require amino-acid formula to survive. The February 2022 contamination and recall crisis at the Abbott Nutrition facility in Sturgis, Michigan, received national attention for its impact on infants, but the situation has also caused devastation to the supply of amino-acid formulas for medically fragile people over the age of one. With no update from production facilities and a quickly dwindling supply of safe medical nutrition, families are left to panic over how they will feed their loved ones. For many suffering from EGID, there is no alternative to amino-acid formula.”
Pediatrician Dr. Steven A. Abrams has advised not to water-down infant formula. It can cause imbalances to the nutritional profile and therefore lead to serious health problems for your baby.
Additionally, Dr. Abrams recommends considering looking for formula in smaller stores and online via well-organized distributors. He says not to order internationally because products may not be inspected by the FDA.
Other recommendations include asking local charity organizations and friends, and to stick to the expiration date.
Dr. Abrams also remind parents that if they are concerned about their child’s health, they should talk to their pediatrician.