What should parents do if the formula crisis affects their baby’s nutrition? There’s so much talk of the current baby formula shortage. How did we get here? Turn on any news channel, and the answers you’ll receive for the shortage are supply and demand issues, recalls, and factory shutdowns. The shortages are affecting many parents and babies, especially local families.
However, what’s truly been on many parents’ minds is this: If we have babies without access to proper nutrition, this is a national crisis that is more than a simple problem for parents to solve.
When families are driving to ten or more stores to find formula without luck, it’s disheartening and scary. So, what can we do? This is where we need to rebuild the village. There is an
age-old proverb about how “it takes a village to raise a child.” This saying encompasses the idea that it takes an entire community to provide for, nourish, educate, and raise the children. Although this formula shortage will take more than just a village, we can still help each other through this the best we can.
Local area moms have already started bonding together on social media groups to share “formula sightings.” Moms can search on Facebook for these groups and add themselves to stay in the loop. If you know a close relative who uses formula, consider picking some up for them if you happen to see their formula on any of your shopping trips.
If you’re a mom who strictly uses formula and cannot find your specific brand, consider talking with your pediatrician about switching to a generic brand that’s more available. Many babies who do not need specific diets may do well with transitioning to generic formula. If you supplement with formula more so out of want than need, consider a home visit with a breastfeeding specialist to boost your breastmilk supply instead. This way, that formula may go to a mom who may not be able to provide breast milk. Some moms are also already finding success with relactating when they seek the support of a breastfeeding specialist.
If you’re breastfeeding with some milk to spare, consider donating to a human milk bank. Parents who cannot locate formula find much success in donated breast milk. Be sure that safety is a top priority for human milk donations: ask questions and go through a milk bank.
Avoid any home formula recipes. Making anything at home can be unsafe without consulting with your child’s doctor for their dietary needs. Always trust the support of a trained and certified breastfeeding specialist before using Internet tips and tricks for breastfeeding and formula advice.
If you’re currently pregnant and worried about the formula shortage, consider investing in prenatal education to breastfeed with success. Attend breastfeeding classes, hire a breastfeeding specialist, and connect with those who can support you with your breastfeeding goals. If you still want to have formula on hand, consider organic or European formulas that are more available.
Please, reach out if you need help with feeding your baby, figuring out which formula to choose, boosting your breastmilk supply, pumping, relactating, and/or trying to figure out where to get donated breast milk or formula. Making sure your baby is nourished is a top priority for breastfeeding specialists. Many of us offer virtual free consults to help with nourishing your baby.
If you’re pregnant and seeking lactation assistance, consider summer breastfeeding classes or home visits when the baby arrives. Information can be found below.
By: Jeanette Cole: Certified Breastfeeding Counselor, Certified Birth Doula