New Moms in the United States are facing a scary situation right now – the baby formula shortage. I’m sharing some really important facts and tips provided by MomsRising.org. On this blog I have shared both my breastfeeding journey and struggles, as well as our path supplementing with infant formula. I relied on having formula available to feed my child since I only produced a small amount of breastmilk, and hearing about all the nation wide shortages is terrifying. Read more about the Abbott baby formula recall 2022.
What is the Baby Formula Shortage? Details about the Baby Formula Recall
Even if you’re not a new mom with an infant on formula, you have heard the outcries on social media and have noticed the empty shelves. Approximately 40% of popular baby formula brands have been sold out due to a historic recall.
So here’s what happened. In February 2022 the FDA announced a recall of baby formula after the death of 2 babies and 4 other infants testing positive for a dangerous bacteria (Source). The largest manufacturer of infant formula in the US – Abbott Nutrition – recalled many of their lines of powdered formula and closed their production facility to address potential contamination.
This recall led to formula being pulled from shelves at retailers, but new formula has not been produced to fill the demand. Some stores started rationing the formula that was available for sale. Some stores have had empty shelves for over a month. Given the time it takes between production of new formula and it reaching stores, we are still in for more formula shortage concerns.
What is being done to address this shortage?
The US government is working to find solutions – including assisting formula imports from abroad (Operation Fly Formula), urging simplified product offerings to speed up formula production to meet demand (invoking the Defense Production Act), and cracking down on price gauging.
Abbott Nutrition has restarted formula production at its Michigan facility. That plant had been closed since February.
But in the meantime mothers are rallying and helping find formula in their local shops and sharing with their friends and neighbors. As moms do!
Do’s and Don’ts for Moms Facing The Formula Shortage
I’m sharing these great tips provided by Moms Rising – Sign up for MomsRising’s newsletter and get up-to-date info on what you need to know!
Below I’m providing their valuable tips and guidance on formula to help you make the safest decisions for your baby. Here’s a list of do’s and don’ts to follow for safe formula feeding during this crisis.
Check with your healthcare provider before switching formula.
This formula shortage crisis affects every baby differently. It is best to speak to your pediatrician or healthcare provider before making any changes to your baby’s formula routine.
Do call stores before driving to them.
Before heading out, call each store to make sure they have what you need in stock. You also can ask them when they get their shipments and if they can set some formula aside for you.
Access your trusted community and local parent groups.
Tap into Facebook, Instagram, Nextdoor & other community groups to help locate, trade, and even donate the extra formula during this shortage! Be mindful about paying for any formula on the internet from a source you do not know or might not be trustworthy.
Check with other retailers/sources besides just big name stores.
Check local convenience stores, ethnic food markets, food banks, religious institutions, your pediatrician’s office, pharmacies, and other retailers other than big-name stores during the shortage. Unless the formula was recalled, all formula is safe to use as directed.
Reach out to your local WIC office.
If you are having trouble affording formula or need lactation assistance during the #formulashortage, reach out to your local WIC office.
Explore your other options.
Formula & human milk are the only safe options for a child under 1. You might have options to access human milk from milk banks or relactate or pump if that is an option. Consult with a lactation professional for guidance.
Talk with your pediatrician or healthcare provider before introducing solids.
Starting solids is a gradual process, with most nutrients coming from formula or human milk throughout your baby’s first year. Make sure you check with your pediatrician or healthcare provider before introducing solids during this formula shortage.
Do not dilute the formula.
The recipe on the back of the formula can provide your baby with the nutrients and vitamins they need to be healthy. Diluting it messes with that formula.
Do not make homemade infant formula.
Unfortunately, during this baby formula shortage, there has been a rise in homemade infant formula recipes popping up on the internet. This is incredibly dangerous!
Do not feed your baby cow milk before the age of one.
Cow’s milk could put your infant at risk of intestinal bleeding. Juice, goat’s milk, and other liquids are also not acceptable replacements for formula or breastmilk.
Do not use toddler formula to feed infants.
Young infants and toddlers have different dietary needs because they are in different stages of growth. Avoid using toddler formula as it does not meet the same standards as those made for babies under 12 months.
Do not use the recalled formula.
Avoid using recalled formula during this formula shortage! A number of children have already gotten sick and tragically two babies have died. You can check your formula lot code to see if it was recalled.
View this post on Instagram
Have you been impacted by the baby formula shortage?
Share your story with MomsRising so they can put pressure on our elected leaders to take further action to get our babies the formula they need.
You might also like:
Join the Working Mom List
Join the Working Mom collective and get support and tools to help you thrive! Subscribers get access to my library of resources and printables.