It’s a heartbreaking reality we’re currently facing in America. Moms who don’t know if they are going to be able to get the formula their baby relies on when they need it. Babies going hungry. You can’t even think about it without getting emotional
Personally, we were impacted by the formula shortage when it came to feeding our youngest, Rory. We began supplementing with formula at the recommendation of our pediatrician at Rory’s 6 month check-up. It was not an easy decision for me, but I was thankful that formula was easily accessible at the time. It was a relief when we found a brand that Rory really seemed to like. Right around Rory’s first birthday in April, I noticed that the formula we typically bought for her couldn’t be found on the shelves. It was scary not knowing if I could find her particular type of formula, but Rory was close to being one, so instead of introducing her to a new brand of formula, we switched over to cow’s milk. I feel like we were the lucky ones.
As the founder of Miracle Milkookies, a company that supports breastfeeding moms, I feel like I’m constantly living and breathing the best ways to feed our babies. In my opinion: fed is ALWAYS best. I know from experience that when moms come to us, it’s with the intention that they are going to try and breastfeed their child for a certain time period, 1 month, 3 months, a year… But somewhere in the middle of how moms plans to feed baby and baby being born, life happens. Maybe the mom with every intention to breastfeed feels like she’s not making enough milk, or she has too much on her plate and she’s feeling overwhelmed, or for medical reasons baby just needs more nutrients, or maybe there’s no reason at all – and that’s reason enough. Whatever it is, sometimes mom needs to supplement with formula.
This brings me to my main point: the formula shortage. What can we actually do about it? I asked our mama community @miraclemilkookies what they are doing to get the formula they need. One genius hack several moms shared, which actually went viral on social media this month, is that we could update our Amazon accounts to ship formula from Canada instead of the US. But this was quickly shut down after we learned that U.S. customers can’t purchase baby formula products from Amazon Canada if they are sold and shipped by Amazon or sold by third-party sellers and shipped by Amazon. Another popular suggestion was to order European formula from Hipp or Holle, the brands so many of us relied on ‘back in the day,’ but again, a road block thanks to America’s stringent trade & regulatory policies, in addition to tariffs. Finally, there was some hope after the updated timeline between the FDA & Abbott was released on May 16, but who is actually excited about waiting 6-8 weeks before seeing formula on our shelves again? Not this mama, or any others for that matter.
So how do we actually get our hands on formula? A call with our pediatrician reinforced that most pediatric offices still have samples of formula. So definitely check with your pediatrician first if you are running out of the brand name formula you can’t find anywhere else!
But the greatest lesson we learned in all of this is that you can always rely on the power of the mom network. Not that we EVER questioned that fact! The moms who found the greatest success in obtaining the formula they need came from their local mom network, or from the ‘influencer’ moms who used their status to create formula exchanges and facebook groups for the moms within their communities. Below is the latest list of resources we’ve gathered…
Resources for obtaining specific brand name formula:
Mom’s Helping Moms: Formula Shortage organized by Karrie Locher
Baby Formula Exchange organized by Shawn Johnson
If you are willing to switch formula brands:
Several moms suggested trying either Nature’s One Formula or Kabrita as an alternative
The New York Times published this extensive list of formula you can order online right now
For babies on specialized formulas
Contact your pediatrician for samples, or additional resources they might have available to you. You can also try to purchase formulas like Alimentum and Elecare in ready-to-feed bottles, which were not affected by the recall.
If you are interested in obtaining donor milk or being a milk donor
The Human Milk Bank of North America (HMBANA) has a list of accredited milk banks that you can reach out to in your area. Please refer to this list or ask your pediatrician before trying to buy donor milk from a 3rd party.
If you are currently a milk donor, or plan to be, Miracle Milkookies is sending fresh baked lactation Kookies to help donor moms make even more milk.
I hope these resources are helpful to you! If you have any other ideas or resources for obtaining formula, please comment below. We’d LOVE to hear them! Also, be sure to check out @miraclemilkookies on Instagram for more milk-boosting tips and mom-life inspiration!