Helpful Tips to Survive the Baby Formula ShortageMay 15, 2022
What you CAN do…
- First and foremost, stay CALM!
- Yes, the shelves are bare, but formula is available. You are likely going to have to go to several stores. Call first before you make a trip out and about. Get creative with where you are looking. Grocery stores are not the only place that sells formula.
- Check with your pediatrician to see what other formulas are comparable to what your baby has been using. You may be able to switch to a formula that is more available. The peds office may even have samples.
- Because there is a quantity limit, be sure to ask your family and friends to be looking for formula for you. Only have them buy what you need.
- Consider using donor breastmilk. Contact your closest breastmilk donor milk bank. If you are a mama with a large supply, consider donating some of your milk.
- If you are considering getting milk from another lactating mom, PLEASE SCREEN HER CAREFULLY and make an INFORMED DECISION. It is important to know about her medical history, meds/supplements she is taking, sanitary conditions with pumping, storing and transporting the milk, how old is the milk, be sure it is not being diluted, does she use alcohol/drugs/smoke, how much caffeine does she consume, the age of her baby and COVID vaccination status. Some of these may be more important than others to you and your baby. You get to decide! Use caution if she is asking for payment for the milk. It is totally acceptable to offer things to offset the cost of pumping for her (i.e., new pump parts, milk storage bags, cleaning supplies, or a gift card for gas or to her favorite shop). Also, be weary of purchasing breastmilk off the internet. Some milk sharing networks you may want to check out include Human Milk 4 Human Babies and Eats on Feets or local mom groups. The key when using another mom’s milk is a THOROUGH SCREENING & INFORMED DECISION!
- If you are a mama who recently weaned, consider relactating to produce milk for your baby so you are not so reliant on formula. Yes, it is possible to do with some guidance!
- If you are a breastfeeding mama supplementing with formula, then reach out to us here at Baby’s Best Beginning to get the help you need to increase your milk supply! We do in person and telehealth and visits are often covered by insurance (check the BBB website to see if you qualify for 6 FREE visits).
What NOT to do….
- Don’t buy formula that you don’t need. Every can/bottle that you buy takes away from
another baby who may need it to survive.
- Do not add excess water to dilute the formula to make more of it. Diluting it decreases the caloric and nutritional value of the formula which can impact a baby’s growth.
- Do not give the baby anything (not cow’s, goat, soy, almond, coconut, hemp milk) other
than formula or breastmilk the first year of life.
- Despite all the popularity on social media about homemade formulas, this is NOT
recommended! Mother nature has the perfect combination of nutrients in breastmilk and formula is modeled after this. The fear with homemade formula is that it does not contain the correct combination of calories, vitamins, minerals, and all the nutritional components that babies need to grow and thrive in the first year of life. This can lead to dangerous compromised growth, especially brain growth, for babies in the first year of life.
Please share this with any mom who needs the information. Baby’s Best Beginning is here as a reputable resource for you and your little one.
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Stacy Notestine RN, IBCLC
Founder of Baby’s Best Beginning
Let’s be (.)(.) Breast Pen Pals!
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