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Richmond pediatrician warns against making your own baby formula

Posted at 7:49 AM, May 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-12 08:14:08-04

RICHMOND, Va. — A nationwide shortage of baby formula has some parents “panicking,” according to two experts who work exclusively with expecting and new mothers.

Back in January, we told you about Urban Baby Beginnings, a nonprofit hoping to solicit donations of baby formula while there’s been a shortage of the produce across the nation.

Unfortunately, Executive Director Stephanie Spencer said much of the donated formula was recalled within weeks.

Dr. Janet West, CEO and founder of RVA Baby, is also feeling the sting and said the issue has gotten worse since January.

With that in mind, West shared advice for parents on what to do and what not to do amid the shortage.

Check-in with your child’s pediatrician if your baby needs a special formula that may be hard to find. They may have large samples to give you while you search for a bigger supply.

West warns parents not to hoard baby formula, and recommends keeping a 10 to 14 days worth of supplies.

If you’re buying formula online, make sure a reputable source and not a third party is selling the product. Keep an eye on formula expiration dates and products that have been recalled.

Also, diluting formula is a big "no-no."

“When you start to water down formulas, babies aren't getting the necessary nutrients that they need,” West explained.

Spencer discussed the importance of mothers learning how to breastfeed to help with the formula shortage. More mothers who breastfeed leave more formula for babies who have no other choice.

“Avoid your homemade formulas for sure. Don't use toddler formula formulas for your infant, or milk substitutes for your infant,” Spencer warned.

She encouraged all expecting mothers to use that time to make connections with providers, reach out to organizations if you need help and connect to educational resources. Often, hospitals have free or low-cost breastfeeding classes.

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