Lack of baby formulas: what to do if you run out

A shortage of infant formula is currently affecting the United States. But what should parents do if they run out and can no longer find their favorite product?

The deficiency has persisted for the past two years, but has gotten worse in the last few weeks, said Dr. Steven Abrams, Professor of Pediatrics at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin. News weekdescribes the problems as “very serious”.

The shortage is caused by problems in the supply chain and the recall of many contaminated baby products.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that they are taking steps to improve the supply of infant products. But if you are struggling to find breast milk substitute and desperately need it, here are some expert advice on what you can do.

According to Abrams, for children who take routine drugs, the vast majority, there is still “the possibility of finding some alternatives, even if it is challenging and becoming more and more challenging,” depending on your location.

“We encourage families to be flexible in their formula choices and to try their best,” Abrams said.

A bottle full of breast milk substitute
Stock image showing a full bottle of infant formula. A shortage of infant formula is currently affecting the United States.
iStock

For most babies, it is okay to switch to any available breast milk substitute unless your baby has a specific breast milk substitute that is extensively hydrolyzed or based on amino acids.

This was stated by Dr. Christopher Duggan, director of the Center for Nutrition at Boston Children’s Hospital News week: “Online stores, local charities, doctor’s offices and local WIC programs (women, babies and children) can be a source of infant formula.”

If parents need or have concerns, they should talk to a local pediatrician, Dr. Katie Lockwood, Chief Pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP,). News week.

“Some pediatric offices may have breast milk samples or know local resources to find breast milk substitutes, including suggestions from other families,” he said. “They might also be able to give advice on how to pass the formula on to something similar that is easier to find. Sometimes smaller stores, like family-run pharmacies or grocery stores, have the formula in stock when the larger retail stores are out.”

Is it okay to dilute infant formula to prolong supplies?

According to Lockwood, it is “very dangerous” to dilute the formula in an attempt to get the most out of limited supplies.

“The formulas are made with a precise balance of ingredients, including electrolytes and minerals, which can be dangerous for children if they are changed. We see cases of babies with low levels of sodium and excess iron or water, which can be dangerous for the heart, the kidneys, the brain of babies and other organs, ”she said.

Can people make their own formula?

All the experts News week he also talked to parents so as not to try to create their own formulas.

“The formulas are regulated by the FDA to be made specifically for the needs of a developing child and are very difficult to recreate at home,” Lockwood said. “Family should not make their own infant formula because it increases the risk of contamination and improper feeding to their baby. Homemade formulas often do not contain the correct types of nutrients children need for their developing organs and growing bones.”

Is cow’s milk a safe alternative to infant formula? Are there other potential alternatives?

According to Lockwood, cow’s milk is not recommended for babies under one year.

“But if your baby is almost a year old, your pediatrician may suggest using cow’s milk during a breast milk substitute deficiency. But I would discuss it with your pediatrician before I use it,” he said.

“A breast milk substitute is typically not recommended for babies under one year of age, but it can be used for babies around one year of age who lack a breast milk substitute. Again, this should only be done in consultation with your pediatrician.”

Abrams, meanwhile, said infants over six months can receive cold cow’s milk for a short period of time if all other options are not available, though iron supplements may be required in these cases. You can talk to a pediatrician about it.

Currently, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises people not to buy more than a 10-day to 2-week delivery of formula in an effort to remedy the deficiency.

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