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La. parents look for options as baby formula shortage continues

A mother walked out of the store on Friday, May 13, without finding any formula for her ninth-month-old and she's not alone.
Published: May. 13, 2022 at 4:41 PM CDT|Updated: May. 13, 2022 at 6:09 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Ashley Kuhn walked out of the store on Friday, May 13, without finding any formula.

“You get in the stores, and you see the shelves and tears just come to your eyes because it’s just not there,” said Kuhn.

Her nine-month-old baby needs formula but Kuhn is having trouble finding the kind she needs.

“I’ve been from store to store. The other day, I found eight bottles and that was going from multiple Walmarts, multiple Albertsons’, multiple Targets, and only came up with eight bottles. That’s hardly enough for a week,” explained Kuhn.

She is not alone. Around the country, families are finding empty shelves instead of formula for their babies.

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Parents are scrambling to find baby formula because of supply disruptions and a massive safety recall by manufacturer Abbott. (CNN, WICS, FDA, ABBOTT NUTRITION)

Health officials are encouraging people to keep searching for formula even if it’s a different brand than your baby is used to.

“So, it’s completely safe to switch to other brands, other types of formulas,” said Jennifer Nicklas, a dietician specializing in infants with the Louisiana Department of Health. “Just make sure there’s no vomiting or outright refusal of the bottle. That would be a big concern and we would want moms and parents to reach out to their pediatricians.”

Nicklas added you should not try to make your own formula.

“Infant formula is made to mimic breast milk, so it has a very delicate balance of calories and nutrients in the shape of nutrients that will be easily digestible for baby. So, when we mix it ourselves, we can’t guarantee that that mineral content and that nutrient content is safe for a baby’s digestive system, for their kidneys, for their liver, so really anything that is not in formula or breast milk. It’s not something that is safe. It would be considered really risky,” explained Nicklas.

Getting your baby proper nutrients so they can grow is also why health officials say not to give your baby cow, goat, or plant-based milk before they are 12 months old.

Diluting baby formula is also not safe because it lacks the right number of calories for babies.

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