Nationwide formula shortages leave parents looking for alternatives

Published: May. 6, 2022 at 11:01 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Between recent recalls and nationwide baby formula shortages reaching 30 to 40 percent across 26 states, parents across the country are being impacted. This includes the ArkLaTex.

Shuwanda Thomas is a Shreveport resident and mom of two. She says her and her husband are struggling to find formula for their baby.

“You have to wonder, will you have what you need to feed your child? Some of these parents do NeoSure or a kind of milk they don’t make substitutes for, so it’s very scary because you don’t know if you’re going to have formula for children,” she said.

Thomas said her daughter, 9-month-old Layla Rose, needs specialized formula but they haven’t been able to find the brand she needs in stores for months.

“The formula that you do find, it’s usually online so you have to pay with cash. If you need WIC, Louisiana doesn’t do WIC online, so you have to pay cash for it,” she said.

It’s a problem Thomas says weighs on her as a parent.

“It’s very depressing, it’s a very horrible feeling not to be able to find what you need for your child.”

Several parents are in the same predicament as Thomas. LSU Health Shreveport Pediatric Neoncologist Nitin Walyat sat down with Kori Johnson to answer some viewer questions.

Q: What alternatives to formula can parents use besides breastfeeding?

A: “The parents need to choose the same category from different brands.”

Q: Is it still healthy for your baby if you need to switch brands?

A: “If you go with scientific evidence, they should not have any problems. But you know you do hear a lot from parents that it took a few days to adjust to the formula.”

Q: Is it recommended that parents use donor milk instead?

A: The donor milk is a result for premature babies who are born less than 34 weeks, or babies who have certain medical conditions.

As the shortage continues, Walmart and Target are allowing people to buy five containers of formula each day. Target online buyers are capped at four items. Shoppers at Walgreens and CVS are limited to three infant and toddler formula products per each transaction.

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