RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – For parents of infants with specific health needs, finding the formula their child needs has been an increasing challenge in the last few weeks.
According to Datassembly, 25 states (including North Carolina) and Washington D.C. 40 to 50 percent of sellers report being out of stock for formula. On top of the shortage, inflation has driven up the cost of baby formula too.
A simple search an online can turn up a number of homemade baby formula recipes but are those recipes safe to use? The Food and Drug Administration, who regulates food products for safety, warns against making your own formula.
“The FDA has recently received adverse event reports of hospitalized infants suffering from hypocalcemia (low calcium) that had been fed homemade infant formula,” the agency has said in its warning to parents earlier this year.
The FDA regulated ingredient and nutrient levels in infant formulas. It does not approve formulas for consumption if they do not meet required nutrient levels.
“The potential problems with homemade formulas include contamination and absence of or inadequate amounts of critical nutrients. These problems are very serious, and the consequences range from severe nutritional imbalances to foodborne illnesses, both of which can be life-threatening,” FDA said.
To combat the issue, the FDA announced this week it would be taking steps to increase supply. Their efforts won’t fix this issue overnight.
In the meantime, retailers like Walgreens, CVS, and Target are rationing supplies or limiting formula to three per transaction. Parents are stuck either driving around town looking for products that fit their child’s needs or searching online parenting groups for their child’s formula.