Expert weighs in on baby formula shortage

In April, multiple baby formulas were taken off the shelves as part of an Abbot safety investigation.
A baby formula shortage has gripped most of the nation.
A baby formula shortage has gripped most of the nation.(WFSB)
Published: May. 16, 2022 at 7:55 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- The baby formula shortage is impacting families across the U.S., and the Southern Tier is no different.

Shelves in the formula section of grocery stores have been nearly empty the past few weeks.

Now, families are finding it difficult to find the formula they need, all while being limited on the amount they can buy.

In April, multiple baby formulas were taken off the shelves as part of an Abbot safety investigation.

“Many of the formulas were recalled because of some bacteria that was found in the formula that could be dangerous to babies,” said Perinatal Network Director Christie Finch. “It kind of spiraled out of control from there.”

Now, families who depend on formula are finding it difficult to feed their infants.

“Breastfeeding is a choice,” said Finch. “You know, it’s something that not everybody decides to do and not everybody can do. So, babies need to either have the first six months of life exclusively breast milk or exclusively formula. So, it creates a huge problem.”

Finch said calls from families looking for formula have increased in recent weeks, but there’s a warning to those who are expecting and trying to stock up.

“I would encourage them to not do that. You don’t know what kind of formula your baby is going to need. So, when the baby gets here they may have an allergy or an intolerance, sometimes their formula needs to be changed a couple of times to get the right one.”

in addition, if you’re thinking of watering down formula or making your own, Finch encourages people to not do that.

“So, that can be very dangerous for an infant because then the baby is not getting the nutrients that they need.”

If you’re still having issues finding your baby formula, Finch said there’s nutritionally comparable substitutes.

“Talk to your pediatrician about another brand that could be comparable. So, you can pick that brand up that may be readily available to you that would be a perfectly good substitute and far better than trying to make your own and having babies go without their proper nutrition,” Finch said.

If you’re still having problems finding formula, Finch also recommends contacting 211 or applying to WIC, which she said has been instrumental in helping caregivers find the formula they need.

On Monday, baby formula maker Abbot said it has reached a deal with regulators to restart production at the factory tied to the shortage.

Copyright 2022 WBNG. All rights reserved.