Baby formula shortage continues, parents growing worried

Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 6:50 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Parents across the Mid-South are fighting an uphill battle for their babies’ health due to a shortage of formula.

“I myself am down to one can of formula and I can’t find his formula anywhere,” said mother Melissa Twitty.

“A couple of stores we’ve been in have not had it, and we’ve had to go to the next location,” said David Henson, father of a newborn.

“I get so excited when I find one bottle of formula,” said Mary Hanson, who is a grandmother.

Dr. Blake Bergeron, general pediatrician at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital says the shortage started at the beginning of the year.

“It went from maybe 8-10% shortage early on in the year and the latest data shows that it’s up to a 30% shortage in some places around the country,” said Dr. Bergeron.

Dr. Bergeron says things only got worst when Abbott Nutrition recalled Similac, Alimentum and EleCare because of bacterial contamination.

Many of the stores that do have formula are limiting the amount parents can buy.

“I ordered some online, and they limit what you can order,” said Hanson. “Everywhere that we’ve been so far has been two.”

A big concern for Dr. Bergeron is parents trying to dilute the formula they can get their hands on.

“Don’t dilute it with water, sometimes if you try to dilute the formula to try to make it last longer that can have really serious medical impact on your baby,” said Dr. Bergeron.

He suggest parents try a generic formula if their baby doesn’t have allergies, protein problems or significant stomach issues.

“We are hearing from industry experts for two or three different brands that they are increasing production,” said Dr. Bergeron.

Bergeron says if a baby goes without formula for a few days they can suffer from dehydration and become malnourished.

Parents looking for breast milk have some options, here locally there’s the Cynthia Milk Fund.

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