Baby formula is a vital ingredient in ensuring that mothers are able to feed their babies and the shortage is causing parents to seek desperate measures as the months wear on.
According to reports obtained from data tracking companies the supply of formula stock is down by at least 43%, which is less than half of what's typically available at facilities across the country. This is in part due to a recent recall by a division of Abbott Laboratories, one of the top manufacturers across the United States. The news led to a halt in production creating a ripple effect for stores, pharmacies, hospitals, and federal agencies that would normally have amply amounts. In addition, to the recall, there have been major supply chain issues serving to exacerbate the problem.
Parents who rely on the synthetic powders and drinks to provide nutrition for their babies have been searching high and low in order to find enough to stretch until the end of the week. Many have called on friends and relatives to scour shelves in other states or asked around in FaceBook groups.
“The formula shortage is a national crisis, hitting poor moms and kids the hardest, And the Biden Administration needs to take this seriously.” -Senator Tom Cotton, Arkansas
Meanwhile, nutritionists and pediatricians are asking parents to do the following in order to cope with the shortage:
- Switch to a generic version of the same formula
- Look for a different brand of a version that's similar
- Temporarily try using a liquid formula
- Speak with your pediatrician
- Avoid diluting formula for safety concerns
- Don't use homemade formula
The FDA has been working diligently to combat the issue, with multiple hearings scheduled. However, even in the best scenario, the company could take months to restore production to normal levels.