Baby Formula Shortage Supply-related issues have struck problems with supply have struck the U.S. hard in the aftermath of the 2020’s coronavirus shutdown.
And while recreation products such as furniture or Gatorade are scarce and infrequent because of this, the baby formula–invaluable to a lot of parents — is also suffering from an acute Baby Formula Shortage.
Paradeconsulted Krystyn Parks Registered dietitian in the field of pediatrics accredited by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners to gain insight on the issue of lactation shortage.
“Yes, there’s a shortage of formula currently. The formulas are available available on shelves in shops However, in the event that a baby needs an exact formula due to a medical requirement or a problem with tolerance it could be challenging,” Parks says. “You may see a formula, but not the formula that you need.”
Stay tuned for more information pertinent to the formula shortage for babies in 2022. Plus, where you can find the formula, and how to the safe transition of your baby’s to an alternative formula.
Is there a shortage of baby formula?
As with many other industries and products post-2020 the baby formula industry is having a shortage in the U.S. Because of the limited access to essential ingredients packaging, as well as labor shortages WebMDreports it is that shortage of baby formula has reached an alarming record… which is it’s only increasing.
The data obtained from the Datasembly as current as April 2022 revealed that formula out-of-stock rates increased to 31,0 percent during April. There were some states seeing an out-of-stock rate of as much as 40 percent.
Compared to the 23 percent out-of-stock rates of January 2022, the data clearly indicates that the shortage is only increasing–especially considering the formula recall that happened the following month.
“Because different regions have different formulas, there have been social media groups created to help parents find formulas,” Parks from Feeding Made Simple, LLC, adds.
“I assist parents in figuring out similar formulas (if they are available) and I’m sure others are doing the exact same. However, there are some major problems that must be addressed at the highest level however, at present we must solve this issue on an individual basis.”
Dr. Regan adds that it’s not just parents who are having difficult times finding the right formula at the store. It’s a real problem that hospitals are having to deal with as well, primarily at the NICU for premature babies.
What is the reason for an issue with a formula for babies?
As Parks mentions in her post the coronavirus-related shutdown two years ago has been a huge influence on the availability of a lot of infant formula, including. However, there’s another factor to consider, and that’s the huge SIMILAC recall which occurred in February of this year.
“Looking back, it began with the onset of COVID-19 and everyone stockpiling supplies including formula back in 2020,” Dr. Victoria Regan, of Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston, Texas, explains. “Subsequent supply chain issues aggravated the problem with shortages on supplies to make the formula.”
Baby Formula Shortage is getting worse in US
Alongside COVID-related supply problems, the recall — which removed Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare powdered infant formula off the shelves significant impact the availability of formula.
“A bacterial infection associated with one type of formula was found this year, causing a recall on this major brand,” Dr. Regan says of the recall. “The factories of the supplier needed to be closed, cleaned, and then re-inspected. This exacerbated the Baby Formula Shortage that we were already experiencing.”
Parks says that the recall worsen the shortage and increase the demand, but it’s also exacerbated due to the fact that the other baby formula companies aren’t able to make enough formula to fill the gap.
“There were issues over the past couple of years due to supply chain issues–like we have seen in other areas–however, with the recall of several Similac formulas in February and the closing of one of their manufacturing sites, the shortage has gotten worse,” Parks states. “They are making less formula and the other companies are not able to increase supply to make up for it.”
Similac is just beginning to get back on the field after they discovered a possible bacterial infection – Cronobacter –in its powdered infant formula significantly slowed them down.
“The good news is this supplier is starting to increase their production [now],” Dr. Regan adds.
CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, and Target baby formula limit for CVS, Walgreens, Target, Walmart, and Walgreens
Then on Friday, May 6, it was announced that major retailers such as CVS and Walgreens were establishing the limit on baby formula. In the words of NBC, CVS “confirmed customers would only be allowed to buy three baby formula products per purchase in stores and online.”
Make sure to check with your local store about the formula limits for babies they have set since it differs by store.
Where can I get baby formula in the 2022 shortage?
Baby formula is readily available on shelves however, as Parks mentioned in her previous post, parents may face difficulties finding the exact formula they’ve used. Particularly in the case of a baby who has medical issues or intolerances, finding the formula you prefer could be impossible.
This is why Parks recommends speaking with your child’s pediatrician about what next steps to take. A pediatrician can provide more information about the problem in your region and may be able to point you in the right direction in terms of is a) what comparable formula you can find and which one to purchase and) what is available.
“It is best to consult with your baby’s healthcare provider (usually a pediatrician) to see which other formula your infant can use,” Parks clarifies. “There are also good resources online from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics.”
How can babies transition between formulas?
Adults are able to stomach a lot, and the body requires a wide range of foods in order to improve our nutritional needs. But could the same thing be said about babies?
The notion that infants can’t switch to different formulas in a matter of minutes could add another layer of confusion to the shortage of baby formula in 2022. The formula might be in stock, but is it what you’re looking for?
More importantly, can you modify a baby’s formula with no need to wean the baby off of the formula?
“The good news is that most babies can transition safely from one formula to another,” Dr. Regan assures. “Some babies may be pickier and not drink as much but within a week, their appetite will usually be back to normal.”
However, rather than cold turkey switching between formulas, follow Parks’ suggestions and talk to your baby’s pediatrician to determine the closest alternative to your baby’s current formula. Doctor. Regan also notes that parents must not utilize non-human milk to substitute for human milk.
“It is vital not to attempt to substitute human milk that is not human (cows or nut, oat goat, and so on.) to replace infant formula because it does not contain essential nutrients that are vital to an infant’s mental and physical development,” Regan says. Regan explains.
The same is true for the recipe. Parks is also adamantly against making your own recipe at home. Be wary of “recipes” that may encourage this. source
“I do want to note that it is not recommended to try and make your own formula,” Parks suggests. “Infant formula is incredibly complex and babies often end up with nutrient deficiencies with homemade formulas.”