As many of you already are experiencing, there is a nationwide shortage of infant formula. This has been the result of supply chain issues and from the closure of one of the Abbott plants due to contamination concerns. It has become a very difficult situation, but is hopefully temporary. There are some important things that we want to remind you of:
1. Never dilute infant formula to make it last – it changes the electrolyte concentrations, can be extremely dangerous to your baby and could result in seizures.
2. Homemade formula recipes are dangerous – the electrolyte concentrations will not be correct and the risk of bacterial contamination is high.
Our other big concern is some Facebook postings suggesting making homemade formula. This is absolutely NOT recommended. The recipes posted are from a time when we did not know enough about nutrition and may not meet your babies’ nutritional needs. They can cause electrolyte imbalance such as hypocalcemia (low calcium). They can also have too much salt or other ingredients that could damage your babies’ kidneys or liver. Lastly, there is a great chance of contamination resulting in infections.
3.Formula from Europe may not be held to the same FDA standards as the ones sold here in the United States.
Please be very careful if buying formula on line from Europe. The key points to consider are:
(1) Lack of FDA regulation (2) Shipping and storage concerns (3) Labeling differences especially with language, different definitions of hypoallergenic, and age-based stages. They have different nutritional content for formula from ages 0 to 6 months and then from 6 months to 12 months (4) Formula recall notice delays (5) More expensive without proven benefit
Please read more in the following link:
4. Infants under 12months are not able to tolerate straight cow’s milk, goat’s milk or other plant- based milk.
Babies under a year cannot receive cow’s milk, goat’s milk or milk alternatives such as soy, hemp or almond milk, due to babies’ nutritional needs. Toddler formula should not be substituted; toddlers’ nutritional needs are different from that of infants’ needs under a year. Goat’s milk formula may be an alternative formula that can be used; it is not a common milk-based formula used in the United States.
5. It is fine to use other brands, including store brands/generics, of the same type of formula (milk-based, soy-based, hydrolyzed or elemental) that you have been using – it is important to call us if you are questioning changing to a different type.
6. If you are a breastfeeding mom and are going to use formula at some point, please consider also pumping your milk and freezing a supply as a backup.
If you are expecting soon, and are planning to formula feed, we are suggesting that you consider getting a breast pump from your insurance company and pumping breast milk for a period of time to establish a frozen breast milk supply.
You can pump to get breastmilk. You can make choices about how much and how long to pump—the breast milk would be a safeguard if you could not find formula to purchase. Our lactation consultant can help you plan this out. Your OB/GYN can help you get a breast pump which, in most cases, will be covered by your insurance plan.
7. Have your extended family and friends be on the lookout for formula when they are shopping. Look on-line at Target, Walmart and Amazon.
This is the time to have your extended family out looking on your behalf when they are shopping. Make sure they know which type of formula is suitable for your baby. If they see it in a store or drugstore, have them purchase it for you.
8. We have a very limited supply of formula samples in our office now, and cannot distribute it as we had been able to in the past.
9. IMPORTANT: If you absolutely cannot get or find formula for your baby, consider this an emergency and CONTACT US.
It is a difficult time and we ask for everyone to remain calm. We can weather this storm like all those that have passed before.
For more information, see:
The link below contains helpful resources and hotline numbers: