SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (FOX 2) - A nationwide baby formula shortage has presented problems for parents trying to feed their babies.
The White House suggests a Health and Human Services online store for concerned families. That website is HHS.gov/formula.
"HHS has just launched a new web page that provides resources and places that parents can go to obtain formula," said Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary.
Local assistance for parents looking for resources and formula can be found at Project Hope, part of Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan. That website is ccsem.org/project-hope.
"What we do is we have limited amount of formula — a variety. They can use what we have," said Jazmin Beltran from Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan.
According to Datasembly, a data collection group, the out-of-stock percentage for formula was between two and eight percent in 2021. Now, it's 43%.
Due to a supply chain shortage and formula recall, parents are left seeking alternatives.
Dr. Julie Macpherson from Beaumonth Health suggests parents shop at smaller drug stores, use store brand alternatives, and speak with a formula representative at your pediatrician's office.
Dr. Julie MacPherson: "We’ve been seeing lots of questions from the parents who come in the office recently. Primarily, parents whose children are on specialty formulas."
FOX 2: "Have you ever seen a situation like this before?"
Dr. Julie MacPherson: "No. This is a new one."
Health experts suggest you only use a trusted source. Don't shop from eBay or Facebook, don't water down your formula, make the bottle with the specific amount of formula for your baby, and, for breastfeeding or pumping mom's, try to increase your supply.
"The hardest thing, I think for most parents, is to not stress about their breastfeeding. The more they stress about it, the less milk production they tend to have," said Dr. Julie MacPherson. "So, drink lots of fluids, and just try to be calm about the whole process."
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Friday that the state will take action to work on solutions.
She says Michigan will offer Sturgis-based Abbott Laboratories support to help put formula production back on track. The factory has been shut down because of contamination.
"Today I spoke with Abbott leadership and offered support to help get production back on track," said Gov. Whitmer. "I will do everything I can as governor to boost baby formula production, getting it from factories to store shelves and into people’s homes. I know how anxious parents must feel right now, and it’s crucial that they have confidence that a product is safe for their babies.
The Attorney General's office says it will investigate price-gouging during the shortage.
The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program will also expand access to alternative formula options.
If you have concerns about infant formula, contact your health care provider or the FDA at 1-888-INFO-FDA (1-888-463-6332), or file a report online at MedWatch. Contact your child’s healthcare provider if you are unable to access the formula your child needs.
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