Health experts provide ‘safe alternatives’ amid current baby formula shortage



DELMARVA – The COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain issues have made the task of filling an infants bottle a challenge.  Despite the current formula shortage, local experts warn parents who may be running low to be cautious about what they feed their little one. 

Chief of Pediatrics at Tidal Health Peninsula Dr. Heather Metcalf tells 47abc that in recent weeks they’ve seen more families coming in with concerns about the lack of formula on shelves. 

Dr. Metcalf says the shortage traces back to the temporary closing of the ABBOT facility due to suspected contamination. She adds that though it may be a scary time for parents, she doesn’t advise you revert to things like making formulas yourself.

The American Academy of Pediatrics reports there have been cases of infants deaths from homemade formula and that those recipes lacks nutritional content. 

Dr. Metcalf has tips for those looking for healthy alternatives. “The first would be toddler formula. That’s a product that’s advertised for children who are 12-months or older. While not the same nutritional composition as infant formula, it’s safe for families to use,” Dr. Metcalf said. “Also, a temporary transition to whole milk. The one draw back about whole milk would be that it doesn’t contain as much iron as baby formula does. So we would want to add a iron supplement or iron rich foods.”

Dr. Metcalf also urges parents to not water down their baby formula and to follow the instructions on the packaging.

The American Academy of Pediatrics also has lactating tips for moms who didn’t start breastfeeding at birth but are looking for other options amid the shortage.

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