What to do during baby formula shortage

March 04, 2022 | by Edward-Elmhurst Health
Categories: Healthy Driven Moms

Feeding your infant has gotten more complicated lately.

Several powdered infant formulas have been recalled because of possible contamination. Abbott Nutrition recently recalled Similac, Alimentum and EleCare powdered formulas after several babies were sickened by bacterial infections after ingesting them.

Infants are at a high risk of complications from infections with cronobacter or salmonella. Call your pediatrician if your baby displays symptoms related to cronobacter or salmonella infection, including:

  • Poor feeding
  • Irritability
  • Temperature changes
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
  • Grunting breaths
  • Abnormal movements
  • Lethargy
  • Rash
  • Blood in the urine or stool

In the meantime, between supply chain delays and the recall, infant formula has been more difficult to find, which makes some parents nervous.

There are options, however. Try these ideas if you have trouble finding formula:

  • Check with your pediatrician. Pediatricians and OB/GYNs often have samples of formula in their offices. They can also suggest substitutions or potential new sources.
  • It’s OK to switch brands. Just don’t switch types of formula, like swapping cow’s milk protein-based formula for soy.
  • Shop around. Check smaller stores instead of scouring big box locations. Infant formula can also be purchased directly from the manufacturer. The Infant Nutritional Council of America warns against buying infant formula from individuals, such as at flea markets, on e-commerce websites, or on internet auction sites. The products may have been improperly stored or shipped, which can affect the quality of the formula. Always check containers for punctures, dents or evidence of potential tampering, and check the use-by date on each container before buying and/or using.
  • Don’t try to dilute formula to make it last longer. Don’t try to make your own formula, either. Straying from the recommended usage could cause health problems for your baby.

Need a family medicine physician or pediatrician for your child? Choosing one can be overwhelming. We make it easy. Get started here: find the right doctor for your baby.

Fortunately, with today’s technology, it’s a lot easier to navigate your child’s healthcare. Edward-Elmhurst Health offers tools to help you find a doctor close to home and schedule an appointment — all on your phone. Download our free mobile app, MyEEHealth™, and keep track of your child’s health from the comfort of anywhere, 24/7.

This blog was reviewed by Victoria Uribe, M.D., pediatrician with Elmhurst Clinic.

Explore children’s services at Edward-Elmhurst Health.


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