How the formula shortage is affecting UP families

National supply chain issues and federal recalls of some of the most popular formula brands...
National supply chain issues and federal recalls of some of the most popular formula brands have caused massive shortages.(KBJR/CBS 3)
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 3:42 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUC) - Depending on where and when you shop, it may be tough to find baby formula.

Abbott, in Sturgis, Mich., was forced to shutter its largest U.S. formula manufacturing plant in February due to contamination concerns.

Superior Lactation Support consultant Linda Marshall says families in Upper Michigan are reporting shortages of formula.

“People are looking to other sources in trying to find ways to get formula. Lots of talk on social media, people trying to help each other out, letting people know where they’re seeing it in different stores,” said Marshall.

Marshall says there are different options to feeding a baby if formula isn’t accessible. One is to consider breastfeeding.

“Families that have a newborn at home right now might want to think about the possibility of re-lactating or starting to lactate now with a new baby at home,” said Marshall.

If breastfeeding is not an option, another possibility could be a generic equivalent formula with similar ingredients to the major brands.

“You may want to check on smaller stores rather than just counting on the bigger stores in the area. Sometimes the smaller stores will have more of a stock available,” Marshall said.

Super One Foods in Marquette Township has a normal supply of baby formula right now.

“Our current supply seems to be okay. Our suppliers have been delivering some baby formula. The only brand that we don’t have are the ones affected by the recall. They haven’t been replenished since,” said Super One Foods store manager Mike Lavigne.

There are alternatives that should not be used.

“If you do have formula you don’t want to add extra water to it to try to extend it or stretch the formula that you have,” said Marshall.

At-home formula recipes can also be very dangerous for babies.

“It’s not going to be adequate nutrition-wise, and it also can be dangerous simply because we’re using so many different ingredients that it’s very easy for that to become contaminated,” Marshall said.

Marshall says the shortage will most likely continue for a while. Those concerned about feeding for a child should contact a pediatrician.

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