Parents nationwide are worried about how to feed their babies. Last week, the Washington Post reported infant formula stock levels were at just 43% due to supply chain issues. Not all babies can consume breast milk, and not all mothers can breastfeed due to a range of common issues.
Only one in four parents feed their children exclusively breast milk until they’re 6 months old. That means most babies rely on formula at some point for nourishment. Before formula was available, simply put, more babies died.
It should also be noted that homemade formulas should be strictly avoided and could lead to infant hospitalization or death. While doctors say whole cow’s milk is a safe temporary alternative for children 6 months or older who don’t have special needs, it’s not a permanent solution. For TikTok mom Kayzie Weedman, it’s not even an option due to her baby girl’s severe allergy to cow’s milk.
In a heartfelt video, Weedman shared her fears and frustrations. But as with most parents, there’s still no clear way to address the issue.
Weedman explained that her daughter needs a very specific kind of formula. She then showed what her baby girl looked like when she experienced an allergic reaction to cow’s milk. The poor infant’s skin was red and inflamed all over her body, and it looked sore. Even when the mom tried to get prescription formula, the pharmacist told her it was on back-order for six months. She traveled as far as three hours away and couldn’t find any formula.
“What are we going to do? Where are we going to go from here? How are formula moms going to feed their kids?” Weedman asked.
The mom’s story is just one parent’s experience of what has become a national nightmare. Meanwhile, the FDA announced it believes the shortage will improve in the next two months.
Abbott, one of the largest baby formula manufacturers, plans to reopen its previously closed plant in Michigan to increase production in the coming weeks. But every second that a child goes hungry counts.
In the meantime, parents are working together by sharing information about local milk banks on the Human Milk Banking website. The Department of Health and Human Services also has a list of resources available for parents.
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