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Formula Shortages: What to Do

Many parents rely on formula to feed their infants. But what can you do when supply chain issues and product recalls cause a baby formula shortage? Nutritionist Kayla Thorngate provides some tips.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, product shortages have become commonplace. Supply chain issues and recalls have worsened these shortages. Formula is currently one of the supply categories most affected. As scary as these shortages can be, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) asks families to avoid bulk buying and hoarding in order “to help ease the impact of shortages.” Below are tips from nutritionist, Kayla Thorngate, on what to do.


1. Pediatric Offices or WIC:

“Some pediatric offices or WIC offices may have some sample cans in stock they can provide to families in a pinch, but it will not be a substantial amount to feed a baby for a long period of time.”


2. Do Not Dilute

“It’s not recommended to dilute formula to make it last longer, use recalled formula, switch to cow’s milk before age 1, or try to make your own (as there are recipes parents can find online).”


3. Milk Sharing

“If parents are truly at a loss for formula, they can consider informal milk sharing (donor milk from other mothers) through their state chapter of Human Milk 4 Human Babies.”


4. Transition to Another Brand

“We recommend parents always have at least one can of their current formula on hand when they go searching for more formula. In the event their current formula is no longer available, they can mix and slowly transition from one brand to another. Most healthy babies won’t have issues switching, but it can make it easier on their digestion.”

About the Author

Kayla Thorngate RDN, IBCLC

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist & International Board Certified Lactation Consultant

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