BALTIMORE — Most new parents have a mental checklist. Diapers...check, Pacifier...check..but what happens when you don't have enough baby formula to check off your list?
Many parents have been going through this dilemma as there is a shortage of infant formula throughout the country.
For months stores have struggled to fill the shelves with baby formula. It got so bad that some retailers like CVS and Walgreens put a cap on how much formula you can buy in one transaction. Health experts believe the shortage is largely because of recalls and inflation.
"The shortage has occurred due to a recall by a very large milk manufacturer Abbott nutrition, their formula Similac, had three very popular brands that were recalled after some infants fell ill, two of whom passed away unfortunately, as a result, there was a recall on a great number of formulas," said Pediatrician at Mercy Medical Center, Ashanti Woods.
This shortage has put a lot of parents in fear. Many worry about being unable to feed their children. Some parents even took to social media to bargain in hopes of finding formula.
"Just like people need water to live. Babies need milk and formula. It's an essential part of life," said Ashley Hayman, parent.
"It's definitely anxiety-inducing. I've been looking every where for formula. I am on a lot of Facebook groups, checking Amazon and talking to neighbors. We’re waiting to see what we can do," said parent Chava Mischel.
Some parents are trying to find alternative ways to feed their babies, but health workers say it's important for caregivers to consult with a doctor before changing the infant's diet.
"We want them to hold off on diluting their formula. So we want to make sure that you don't put too much too much water into the formula to dilute it or stretch it," Woods said. "We also don't want families resorting to home milk or cow's milk too early. Typically, we introduce cow's milk when a child is twelve months of age or older, so we don't want families giving cow's milk to their infant during this formula shortage because it can be harmful."
Health experts the manufacturers are working daily to end the shortage, but until then its important for parents to do their research, speak with doctors, and do not hoarder baby formula.