Pediatrician lists resources for baby formula, but warns parents not to make their own

As parents attempt to grapple with a severe baby formula shortage that has hit the United States unexpectedly, causing widespread panic, Dr. Sarah Adams, who is a pediatrician at Akron Children’s Hospital, pleaded with them not to resort to making their own formula.

She warned that there are grave risks when making homemade baby formula as a replacement for infants. She told Fox News Digital on Friday that “parents in my practice are finding it hard to find baby formula,” which in turn is causing them to seek alternatives in order to keep their children fed. A whopping 40 percent of the top formulas are out of stock as of the week ending on April 24, according to CBS.

The shortages [have been] exacerbated by the recall from [formula manufacturer] Abbott [Laboratories] — but it has gotten even worse since then,” she admitted.

“I have been told that due to the recall, [parents] were afraid to use the formula they had, even if it wasn’t one that was recalled,” Adams remarked.

“And if they do find formula, they worry about the limits of how much formula they can buy at one time … They are calling our office and we are helping them by reaching out to local formula representatives,” she added.

(Video Credit: AkronChildrens)

But recalls are not entirely to blame for the shortages.

“Inflation, supply chain shortages, and product recalls have brought an unprecedented amount of volatility for baby formula,” claimed Datasembly founder and CEO, Ben Reich. “We expect to continue to see the baby formula category being dramatically affected by these conditions. Baby formula stock, which has been one of the more affected categories so far in 2022, and one that will continue to demonstrate higher than average out-of-stock levels.”

Adams gave 8 recommendations for parents, caregivers, grandparents, and others concerning baby formula via Fox News:

1. Avoid hoarding. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises buying no more than a 10-day to 2-week supply of formula.

2. Call the doctor. “Call your pediatrician’s office and ask if they can get you a can from the local formula representatives,” she said.

3. Check with local charities. They might have supplies they can share.

4. Check with your local WIC office. This is the government program — the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). It regularly supplies formula to lower-income families.

5. Check smaller stores and drug stores. These outlets may have supplies for purchase.

6. Buy formula online. Do make sure, however, urged Dr. Adams, “to purchase from well-recognized distributors and pharmacies and NOT [from] individually sold [offerings], auction sites or [from] overseas!”

7. Make the switch. “Switch to other formula brands or types of formula,” she advised, “but talk to your pediatrician first, especially if your baby must use a hydrolyzed or amino acid-based formula.”

8. Check the shelf life of formula you do have. Make sure it is not on the recall list, advised Dr. Adams. “Do not [throw away] any formula that has not expired or is not on the recall list,” she said. “Use concentrate or ready-to-feed [options], which may be more available.”

She advised parents to not panic over the situation and to stay calm.

“Always talk with your pediatrician if you have concerns about your baby’s nutrition and feeding your baby,” Adams admonished.

“I do NOT recommend making your own formula,” she emphasized. “The AAP strongly advises against homemade formula.”

“These [options] are not safe and not FDA approved — infant deaths have been reported,” the doctor warned.

She stated that milk alternatives are not recommended for babies under a year of age and urged parents not to use almond or other plant-based milk because “they are low in protein and minerals.”

Adams also advised parents not to use toddler formula to feed infants. She warned them not to water down the formula they give them, claiming it “is dangerous and can lead to poor nutritional balance and serious complications.”

According to Fox News, Dr. Adams is joined by a chorus of other pediatric professionals who are all saying the same thing concerning baby formula, including Dr. Meg Meeker, who is a long-time practicing pediatrician and an author, as well as NYU Langone pediatric nutritionist Nicole Regan.

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