Shortage of baby formula sends local moms scrambling for supply
DELMARVA – As the country continues to run into supply chain issues, another item to add to the list is baby formula. Shelves are being cleared as parents try to feed their babies with whatever formula is left. “I check Wal-mart and Walgreens in the whole state of Delaware probably three to four times a day to see their stock and I will drive to go get it. It’s like a full-time job trying to find the formula,” says local mom, Brooke Kellam.
Brooke Kellam, a local mom of a 7-month-old tells 47 ABC, her baby boy can only use a special kind of formula due to his severe acid reflux, and cow milk protein allergy. She says she tried breastfeeding, but her baby still had issues so she switched to formula. “Immediately, we were noticing shortages, one bottle is only like I said 32 ounces, he drinks about 35 to 37 ounces a day so he’s going through a whole bottle plus some of another in one day,” says Kellam. She adds, “We have found somewhere that’s kind of consistent but it’s not something we can go without, so it’s not consistent enough for me.”
Abbott nutrition company, manufacturers of formula brands like Similac, recently recalled a number of their powder formulas. With some of those off the shelves and shortages depleting the others, there seems to be a big problem. Abbott said in a statement, “We value the trust parents place in us for high quality and safe nutrition and we’ll do whatever it takes to keep that trust and resolve this situation.”
While companies like Abbott scramble to bring back supply, a clinical manager at tidal health’s pediatrics’ unit says, looking for alternatives is your next best option. “I can’t stress this enough that parents check with their pediatricians before they switch formulas at all,” says Lori Morgan, Special Care Nursery & Pediatric Unit at TidalHealth.
Morgan say to check smaller pharmacies and alternative resources for your preferred formula, and if that’s not an option, “Introducing those solid foods if your baby is ready and over that six-month mark, that’s another way to kind of supplement your baby with nutrition rather than just formula,” says Morgan.
However, Kellam says regardless of alternatives, this shortage of something so vital is unacceptable. “People will live without Easter candy but my son won’t live without this formula.”
Morgan also warns parents to never mix formulas with extra water to make it last because your baby won’t properly grow. She also says to stay away from giving your baby any cow milk or milk alternative during their first year.
Morgan also advises parents to check smaller pharmacies and stores for formula, before heading to bigger chains like Wal-mart and Walgreens.