WASHINGTON (WDVM) — A nationwide baby formula shortage has forced frenzied parents into a state of panic to get their hands on any formula. The problem is the result of supply chain disruptions and a safety recall and has had a cascade of effects.
“Usually I usually buy an advance,” parent Jennifer Kersey said. “I usually get four of these big tubs that will last me for the month until we buy more and I started to see that there was a formula shortage. All of a sudden we go to buy formula and everything is gone.”
The shortage has parents across the country swapping, selling, and offering leftover supplies to each other. President Biden also talked to several formulae making companies and urged them to push production and restock the shelves
“The steps the president took today are an acknowledgment and a recognition that more needs to be done, that we do not want parents, mothers, families out there to be stressed and worried about feeding their babies,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
Marie Johnson, who is eight months pregnant, said that although she plans to breastfeed, she did plan on using formula as a backup plan. Now she’s nervous.
“I worry because if I happen to not be able to breastfeed, I have no other option, no backup plan. I really think this needs to be turned into a national emergency because babies are going to go hungry if nothing changes,” Johnson said.
Health experts are urging parents who can’t find name-brand formulas to try a store brand or generic brand of formula.
“There are lots of different brands and so it doesn’t have to be the brand that your baby has been getting,” pediatrician Dr. Claire McCarthy said. “It’s fine to go and get the store brand of formula, but what isn’t fine is making your own formula, ordering it from another country where it’s not FDA regulated and may not be safe.”
For help finding baby formula, doctors advise reaching out to your pediatrician.