Baby Formula Shortage Causing Families to Try to Make Homemade Formula

The baby formula shortage is hitting the US so hard that parents are attempting to make their own homemade formula. Last week, the search for “how to make homemade formula for babies” rose 120% on Google. 

Medical experts and the Food and Drug Administration strongly advise against feeding infants homemade formula. Infant formula is meat to replicate the nutrients in a mother’s breast milk. Homemade formulas may cause nutritional deficiencies that could harm infant development.  

A pediatric nutritionist stated:

“So, they [infants] might have poor weight gain or inadequate brain development,” she said of infants. “And then there’s a great risk of contamination or foodborne illness since these are being prepared at home…Their digestive track is still developing,” she said of infants. The risk of food contamination is so great and can really be a concern there, just mixing things up at home.”

The FDA regulates commercially available formulas, but not homemade ones. 

For parents who cannot find formulas on the shelves of their stores, pediatricians often have samples they can give out for free. They can also recommend switching to a different brand safely. Lactation consultants and food banks may also have formula, though their supplies are also running low. 

The formula shortage started from supply chain issues but has been exacerbated by the Abbott Laboratories recall. Stores like Target and Walmart have placed limits on the amount of formula that can be purchased. 

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