Desperate mothers are forced to buy formula they know will make babies sick amid shortage – Daily Mail
Wynter Balthrop broke down in her car after discovering her baby’s formula was out of stock. She knew the generic formula she had to feed her would make her stomach sick.
Balthrop is among many mothers who have resorted to desperate options to feed their babies as the supply crisis and formula recalls have left shelves empty.
The shortage began during the COVID-19 pandemic and got worse after Abbott Labs recalled certain Alimentum, Similac, and EleCare formulas after five infants contracted a Cronobacter sakazakii infection.
Cronobacter, formerly known as Enterobacter Sakazakii, is a germ found in dry foods, such as powdered infant formula, powdered milk, herbal teas, and starches. It can cause diarrhea and urinary tract infections in people of all ages but can be very serious in infants.
Parents are relying on strangers across state lines to buy baby formula when it’s available and ship it to where it’s intended and are being warned against feeding homemade formula to their babies.
The FDA has warned against parents using homemade formulas for their children because of a deficiency of calcium in the blood that can lead to seizures. Diluting formula or replacing it with cow’s milk is also dangerous.
Major retailers have limited in-store and online purchases of baby formula to three-per-buyer, as parents have raised concerns that many hoard the already hard-to-find formulas. Some parents are now relying on strangers across state lines to buy formula.
‘This has helped others find their formula without going all over town,’ said the mother, who has not had to resort to buying formula that would make her baby sick.
The baby formula shortage began during the COVID-19 pandemic when companies faced supply-chain issues. In February, Abbott Labs recalled certain Alimentum, Similac, and EleCare formulas after five infants contracted a Cronobacter sakazakii infection.
In the US, Iowa, Missouri, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas are among the hardest-hit areas for baby formula shortages, with the capital of San Antonio having the highest out-of-stock rate at 56 percent.
Many parents have taken to social media to voice their frustration at the shortage of baby formula, with one mother writing that she had to search a tri-state area for formula and still come up empty.
Pediatrician Sarah Adams warns parents against making baby formula at home, noting that it could be potentially fatal for babies.
As of April 24, 40 to 50 percent of top-selling baby formula products were out of stock at stores across the country, according to an analysis from Datasembly. Parents have been turning to homemade recipes tracked down online, but authorities say this practice is not safe.
The FDA warns against making infant formula at home because it can cause hypocalcemia, a deficiency of calcium in the blood that can lead to seizures.
Experts have warned against diluting formula or replacing it with cow’s milk, which could cause nutrient deficiencies that could affect an infant’s growth and development. Parents are shelling out as much as $800 on eBay for cans of baby formula that generally cost $50.
Experts say the baby formula shortage began during the COVID-19 pandemic, when companies faced supply-chain issues, including procuring the necessary ingredients, packaging hang-ups, and labor shortages.
Ashleigh Olsen, who orders her son’s formula straight from the manufacturer, said she stocked up last time, but now her 2-month-old can’t eat anything but formula.
Emily Pyeatt wrote on Facebook that she went to eight stores in search of formula for her 8-month-old child and that she was easing her son onto solid foods.
Parents in Lexington, Kentucky, are having difficulty finding formula for their babies due to a shortage. They are pleading with the government and media to address the crisis.
Critics have accused President Biden of staying silent on the issue of a baby formula shortage while pouring billions into Ukraine and failing to address the inflation crisis that has emerged in the little more than two years since Biden assumed office.
Read more on this story at the following additional news sources:
- Desperate mothers are forced to buy formula they know will make babies sick amid shortage Daily Mail
- The baby formula supply problem is getting worse CNN
- Baby formula shortage sends Tennessee mom of 8-month-old into a ‘panic’: ‘I broke down’ Fox News
- Baby formula still scarce in the Miami Valley; How to stretch out your supply WHIO
- Infant-Formula Shortage: An Explainer National Review
- View Full Coverage on Google News