BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – Frustration is the feeling a lot of mothers are experiencing lately as they deal with a formula shortage that has been ongoing for months.
“I cried in the formula aisle the other day with another mom in Wal-Mart,” Laney Reeves said. “Like it’s all too real right now.”
Reeves said it’s a struggle she and her almost 11-month-old baby Theo have been dealing with.
Theo can’t digest the proteins in milk or soy so he needs a special kind of formula, but right now it’s hard to even find regular formula.
“Me and my husband we’ve been to six stores at one time to try and find formula,” Reeves said.
So what should you do if you can’t find the formula? Neonatologist Dr. Brittnea Adcock with Niswonger Children’s Hospital said mothers should breastfeed or pump if they’re able, or check with their pediatrician to see what alternative formulas they recommend.
“I know everyone is in a panic right now and wanting to hoard and buy as much as they can whenever they do see formula in stores, but really the best thing is to buy no more than about a two weeks supply at once,” Adcock said.
You can also try using social media to see where others are finding formulas, and checking the supply at smaller stores. Switching off of formula early isn’t recommended.
“The recommendation is to transition to cow milk or whole milk at one year of age,” Adcock said. “The reason that is, is that the babies don’t have the enzyme to break down and digest that whole milk.”
Adcock said watering down formula or trying to make your own from a recipe is not recommended. She said it can increase the risk of infection and may not be enough to meet the baby’s nutritional needs.
While Theo will soon be old enough to be off of formula, the Reeves family will still feel the impact.
“We want another baby,” Reeves said. “Since I’m not able to breastfeed, and we’re not sure of the climate of formula or anything else right now, it’s just not a possibility.”