Doctors: Parents should use any FDA-approved formula they can find amid shortage
A months-long baby formula shortage is seemingly getting worse and leaving some parents on edge.
Dr. Amit Kamath at Trumbull Pediatrics says the shutdown of a Michigan factory was exacerbated by supply chain woes and now spiking demand for formula.
"I know a lot of parents initially hoarded a lot...they had enough supply for a year," said Kamath.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is now urging families not to buy more than a two-week supply. Doctors say more than 40% of mothers supplement with some formula.
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"Most of them try to breastfeed, if possible, but a lot of mothers can't breastfeed for various reasons, and formula's the next choice," said Kamath.
Last month, ProHealth Physicians opened the state's first outpatient milk dispensary in Glastonbury to help mothers whose babies need more breast milk than they can produce. Doctors there say unfortunately the dispensary isn't there to supplement market demand.
"It's not like you're going to suddenly come to the dispensary because you can't find formula on the store shelves, and say 'I want some breast milk for my baby.' That's not really the role of the dispensary," said said Dr. Joy Hong, pediatrician at ProHealth Pediatrics Glastonbury.
Pediatricians say aside from catering to specific allergies or gastrointestinal issues, substituting a different formula brand is generally no cause to panic.
"There's not too much difference at all, that's what I tell my patients. So whatever's available I would take it," said Kamath.
Kamath does not recommend using any baby formula not approved by the FDA and says that includes formulas from Europe.
Doctors recommend checking online or in smaller pharmacies if shoppers can't find formula at the supermarket.