CLEVELAND — The national baby formula shortage created stress among parents as they search for options to feed their infants.
While various social media platforms feature posts on how to make homemade baby formula as an alternative, doctors said the concoctions can be dangerous.
“People are trying to get creative,” said Dr. Kevin Turner, a pediatrician with University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.
Turner also emphasized diluting formula is dangerous because an infant’s kidneys are not fully developed and cannot manage diluted formula.
Parents across the country are seeing empty shelves when they go to buy baby formula due to months of distribution and facility issues.
Adeva Mckenzie lives in central Ohio and started a Facebook group called “Formula Finders” to help parents identify locations where baby formula is available. Nearly 200 people have already shared posts on each page.
“What I suggest people do is just take your phone with you and as you’re doing your regular everyday shopping, take your phone out, walk by the formula, take a quick photo and just post in the group with the time and store you ‘re at,” said Mckenzie. “It takes maybe a minute, two minutes at most, and it helps a lot of people.”
Turner said it’s important for parents to reach out to their child’s pediatrician for suggestions, as they may have information on supplies.
“Some of the smaller stores may have better stock than some of the bigger stores,” he says.
University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital also shares tips for concerned parents on its website.
The White House announced plans to ease the baby formula shortage this week, including making it easier for families using WIC benefits — also known as the federal Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children — to obtain formula.
President Joe Biden also asked the Federal Trade Commission to prosecute price gouging by retailers that have marked up formula prices. The White House is also working on strengthening partnerships with other countries, including Mexico and the Netherlands, to increase the supply.