Colorado Governor Announces Solution for Baby Formula Shortage

Kelly E.
A shortage of baby formula leaves many Colorado parents worried.By alfa27 on Adobe Stock Images

This week, Governor Jared Polis announced a hopeful solution to the baby formula shortage affecting Colorado and the rest of the United States.

Polis hopes a partnership formed with Mothers’ Milk Bank (MMB) through the Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation will help to give parents access to the milk they desperately need to feed their newborns.

“It is critical that we use every option out there to make sure our infants do not go hungry. Moms who are able to donate breastmilk should do so as a lifeline for those who can’t, and no matter how you feed your baby, a fed baby is the priority,” said Governor Polis in a press release.

Why is there a shortage?

Almost half of all baby formula in the US is produced by one company, Abbott Nutrition the food sector of Abbott Laboratories.

Early in 2022, there were reports of four infants becoming seriously ill from bacterial infection after consuming the Abbott formula manufactured in their Sturgis plant in Michigan. Two infants tragically passed away.

On February 17, after hearing of the reports, Abbot voluntarily recalled certain formulas produced in the Sturgis plant.

Abbott has shut down the plant until safety of the baby formula can be ensured and the FDA approves their reopening.

According to a news report last week, the company says they won’t be able to get product from its Sturgis facility on shelves for another five to seven weeks.
Milk Banks may provide relief for worried Colorado parentsBy Pixel-Shot

How do Milk Banks work?

Milk banks run under strict guidelines set out by the Human Milk Banking Association of America.

There are 31 milk banks throughout the US, including Mother's Milk Bank in Colorado.

Typically, milk banks are used to feed premature babies. One ounce of donated milk can feed a micro premmie for an entire day.

Donors are often mothers who are breastfeeding and produce more milk than their baby requires. They go through a screening process and their milk donations are pasteurized and tested.

“Every ounce counts. The more donated milk we can get in the door now, the more we’ll be able to support families for the weeks and months to come,” said Rebecca Heinrich, Director of Mothers’ Milk Bank. “We are thrilled to partner with Colorado on this important effort to support families.”

The Mother's Milk Bank is physically located in Arvada, Colorado, outside of Denver.

However, donations can be made from anywhere in the US as their are many Donation & Outreach Centers that serve as drop-off locations.

Check their website for more details about donating and purchasing milk.

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