Updated: May 24
The National Baby Formula Shortage
The question that families across socioeconomic classes are asking themselves. How will I feed my baby?
The pandemic seems to have become a regular part of our daily existence. As many of us are being transitioned back to our workplaces, we face increased grocery prices with fewer grocery options, increased gas prices, and limited ability to buy more fuel-efficient used vehicles. Employers seem tone-deaf and insist on returning to in-person work even though extensive data have shown that productivity increased during mandatory telework. To make matters worse, many fear they will not be able to feed their babies due to the national formula shortage. I have included a list of dos and don'ts that align with some of the recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics:
Things you should do:
1) Do talk to your child's healthcare provider to learn about available resources (Abrams, 2022)
2) Count the number of wet diapers your baby is producing (Holt et al., 2011)
3) Monitor for signs of hunger (Holt et al., 2011)
4) Monitor for signs of dehydration (Holt et al., 2011)
5) Don’t allow shame, guilt, or anger to stop you from asking for help
Things to avoid doing:
1) Do not add more water than what the instructions recommend to make the formula (this is not safe) (Abrams, 2022)
2) Do not attempt to make homemade formula (this is not safe) (Abrams, 2022)
3) Do not suffer in silence (ask for help from your healthcare provider)
To read the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations, you can read this article linked below:
The FDA is currently devising a plan to import more infant formula and encourage national formula supplies to increase manufacturing (Watson, 2022). As we wait for more information on plans to sustain the nation's supplies, please take care of yourselves and your families.
If you are feel overwhelmed and would like to talk to someone, you can call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Helpline at
Abrams, S. (2022, May 11). With the baby formula shortage, what should I do if I can't find any? HealthyChildren.Org. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/tips-tools/ask-the-pediatrician/Pages/Are-there-shortages-of-infant-formula-due-to-COVID-19.aspx#:%7E:text=To%20help%20ease%20the%20impact,2%2Dweek%20supply%20of%20formula.
Holt, K., Wooldridge, N., Story, M., & Sofka, D. (2011). Bright Futures: Nutrition (3rd ed.). American Academy of Pediatrics. https://doi.org/10.1542/9781581106244
Office of the Commissioner. (2022, May 10). FDA Takes Important Steps to Improve Supply of Infant and Specialty Formula Products. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-takes-important-steps-improve-supply-infant-and-specialty-formula-products
Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration. (2022, March 25). SAMHSA’s National Helpline. SAMHSA.Gov. https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline
Watson, K. (2022, May 13). FDA to announce how it'll increase imports to address baby formula shortage. CBS News. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/baby-formula-shortage-biden-fda/
Disclaimer: The information provided in my blog post reflects my views and is not to act as medical or legal advice.
Author: Alita-Geri Carter, MSN, RN, CPNP-PC