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Local expert offers tips to parents having trouble finding baby formula

Baby formula supply shortage
Posted at 5:34 PM, May 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-09 20:34:59-04

San Diego (KGTV)- A shortage of baby formula is causing worry for parents across the country. Rady Children’s Hospital says its also been impacted by the low supply. A local expert is sharing what parents can do if they find themselves low on formula.

“Sometimes there’s alternatives and it may not be the big brand names that they’re used to,” says Lora Beaston. “There might be a store brand that is comparable and available.”

Lora Beaston is a Clinical Nutrition Manager at Rady Children’s Hospital. She works with families of young children and premature babies.

Beaston says if parents are not finding formula in stores it’s important to contact their child’s pediatrician.

“It’s very important to be in that communication,” says Beaston. “Many pediatricians have nursing hotlines that can be a great resource for them. Those families that are followed by dietitians, on specialized formulas, it’s very important to contact them especially if they’re having difficulty finding those formulas.”

The FDA recently shut down an Abbott Nutrition facility in Michigan. Back in February, the FDA recalled three brands of powdered formulas made by the company due to potential bacterial infections, including Salmonella.

Beaston says she doesn’t advise altering a child's formula to make it last longer.

“I can see parents potentially thinking that it’s ok to dilute a formula, I want to warn them against that. That can cause electrolyte issues and under-feed their child… It’s also a higher risk of bacterial contamination.”

For small infants, Beaston also warns against whole milk, or any cow’s milk, citing it does not provide enough iron or protein- calcium-phosphorus mix.

Beaston says there are other options for getting formula including mail order directly from the manufacturer, checking with smaller retail stores or outlets, and networking with other parents.