The infant formula shortage is a pressing issue that has us and anyone with an infant concerned. Here are some ideas for right now that could be helpful:
- Gerber’s MyGerber Baby Expert: reach a certified nutrition or lactation consultant by phone, text, Facebook Messenger, web chat, or video call, who can help you identify a similar formula that may be more readily available
- Abbott’s Consumer Hotline: call 1-800-986-8540
- Reckitt’s Customer Service line: call 1-800 BABY-123 (222-9123)
- Locate your nearest Community Action Agency (CAA): Your neighborhood CAA may be able to provide you with formula or connect you with local agencies that have formula in stock.
- Feeding America: call your local food bank to ask whether they have infant formula and other supplies in stock.
- Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA): certain HMBANA-accredited milk banks are distributing donated breast milk to mothers in need; please note that some may require a prescription from a medical professional. Find an HMBANA-accredited milk bank .
- Contact your local WIC office to identify or obtain additional sources of infant formula nearby.
- Abbott has an online formula locator resource that could be helpful for determining local stock of various kinds of formula made by Abbott.
Some other important points:
- Never water down infant formula for the purpose of extending what you have. Dilute formula can cause severe issues in infants, including seizures and death.
- Always follow instructions as provided on the formula packaging
- Please do not try to make your own infant formula. There are several online articles and social media posts claiming that the authors have or have used homemade formula. There is history of infants becoming sick when taking nonstandard formula, which sometimes includes honey and Karo syrup or other sweeteners and ingredients inappropriate for infants. Infants have been known to get sick or even perish from drinking nonstandard formulas
- Be cautious with links online or emailed; there have already been infant formula scams and inaccurate claims made (see the Amazon Canada "hack").
You can find more guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics on ideas for managing infant nutrition during the shortage. Please note that the warnings about using certain other formulas or cow's milk - while these are options if in a situation of desperation, there are potential complications (especially with cow's milk - check the article), and all other options should be pursued first.
Stay tuned for other ideas and resources, or updates, as they become available!