As a parent or caregiver, we have a long list of rewards and challenges. One of the challenges I never thought I’d face as a Mom, is not having access to find my baby’s formula. By now, a lot of people have heard about the formula shortages, and I’d like to shed some light on this very real issue.
RELATED READING :: Fed is Best
For months now, I’ve had to load up all 4 of my kiddos just to blindly drive, hoping to find formula that will meet my infant’s sensitivity issues. On many occasions, we end up over an hour away before finding an overpriced, small option to get us through the night. Usually hitting 5 or 6 stores–on a normal basis–to find it. I’ve tried calling around, and most stores say the same thing- they don’t have many options, they don’t know when trucks are coming, and no, they can’t hold it. A lot of people recommend ordering online and while that is seemingly a great option, most are backordered! Deliveries aren’t always on time, and with us having to get whatever we can find in the moment, we are running out faster than usual. It can also be more expensive to order online and for many Americans right now, with gas prices already so high, recovering from a pandemic, the extra money is tight for a lot of families. Some of the stores have marked their prices up and having to make those long trips across town when you run out adds to the growing pile of stress and things we can’t control.
In addition to worrying about how we will feed our babies, we’ve also faced the keyboard warriors who want to scream “This is why you should breastfeed” or “formula is terrible for your baby” or “you should just make your own” Comments like this are extremely unnecessary and can be hurtful. As a mother of 4, I tried with every baby to breastfeed and to exclusively breastfeed. There are many reasons as to why babies need formula. With my oldest, I didn’t produce enough. My 4th babe had low blood sugar and formula was the difference in a NICU visit or going home. I supplemented with all my babies- which means they get both. Little ones also get upset bellies easy and so switching formula types too often can be hard on them. It shouldn’t matter. Any parent or caregiver should not have to explain why they need access to formula to feed their baby. FED IS BEST. Parents and caregivers need support right now. We need help ensuring those little bellies stay full and the shelves become restocked.
There are several resources available to help with this crisis. It has truly amazed me to see the people on social media come together to provide support and relief. People all over are posting the formulas they have or have seen on social media.There have also been groups created specifically for this issue. One of the most helpful things to me, has been leaning on my tribe. Friends and family have kept eyes out and picked up formula when available. Some have even shipped it! Below is a list of resources you can turn to if you need help:
•HHS.GOV *Search Find Formula* for a full list of resources
•Austintexas.gov *Search Recent Formula Recall* for a full list of resources
•Check Pharmacies and Smaller Stores around town
•Check the Clearance Section
•Talk your pediatrician about alternate brands you can try. *Generic usually has the same ingredients*
•Talk your pediatrician about where you can find immediate help (a lot of pediatricians have samples or for babes with complex medical issues, hospitals may have some they can provide with the Pediatrician’s assistance)
•Ask Family & Friends to Help look when they go shopping
•Check with your local Mom FB Groups
There are things to be made aware of when searching for formula or options, please keep the following in mind:
• The American Board of Pediatrics strongly advises against homemade formula as it can lead to Hospitalizations and even death.
•Please be careful who you purchase formula from. If they are a stranger, it is important to be sure the lid is still sealed as some individuals have taken advantage of this and are selling flour as formula. Sad, I know.
• If ordering online, make sure it is from a reputable site to ensure delivery and contents of formula.
• If you are using donor milk, the safest way is to go through a certified donor bank where breast milk is screened.
To every parent, grandparent, and special ones raising the tiny ones, remember this too shall pass. Before you know it, you will be driving across town to pick up Chick-Fil-A instead! Hang in there, and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. We truly are all in this together!