JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Supply chain issues and recalls are causing shortages in baby formula nationwide. Experts with the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) said now is the time to prepare, but not to panic.
Earlier this year, Abbott Nutrition recalled powdered formula manufactured in Sturgis, Michigan. Those include Similac, Alimentum and Elecare. The recall happened after an investigation was opened into a possible cronobacter sakazakki contamination.
Now, experts with Children’s of Mississippi are encouraging parents to be prepared. UMMC Division of Newborn Medicine Chief Dr. Mobolaji Famuyide is asking mothers to breastfeed, if medically able to do so. Those who are unable to should follow your pediatrician’s recommended alternatives.
Pediatrician Dr. Anita Henderson recommended contacting your local WIC (Women, Infants and Children) office if you’re having trouble finding formula.
Leaders with the American Academy of Pediatrics are recommending that parents only buy a ten-day to two-week supply of formula to avoid hoarding.
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Dietician said Shiloh Lancaster said to reach out to your pediatrician to discuss changing formulas, especially if your child is on a specialized formula. Lancaster also recommended buying directly from the manufacturer. The major manufacturers have an established service line and website to help find formula in your area.
The AAP warns parents not to water down formula. This can cause slowed growth, nutritional and electrolyte imbalances and other serious heath conditions. In extreme situations, electrolyte imbalances could lead to seizures and death.
Additionally, babies younger than a year should not consume cow milk, toddler formulas or milk substitutes like almond milk or oat milk. Experts added that homemade formula recipes are dangerous, too. Parents shouldn’t buy imported formula, either. These haven’t been approved by the FDA.
Children’s of Mississippi leaders said samples will no longer be given to parents. They said they have most formulas in stock, but specialty formulas are limited.