‘Shaking and in tears’: Parents deal with formula shortage

Health

(NewsNation) — Like many parents across the United States, Natasha House was trying to find formula for her baby. Luck on that front was hard to come by.

Empty store shelves, barren of formula, amid a nationwide shortage left House “shaking and in tears” as she hunted for formula.

“As a Mom, I … could have never imagined being in this position,” House said.

The House family’s 10-month-old daughter needs formula. She has digestive issues that prevent her from drinking other forms of milk.

Grocery stores are stocking 40% less formula because of the shortage, a key factor in which was the mass recall of formula from a factory in Michigan. Analysts fear the shortage could last six-12 months.

“I instantly got scared, I was so concerned and so worried,” House said. “We started with our doctor first, and what they were seeing was they too were a little uneducated about what caused the shortage, what’s going on with it, and so they just recommended we try another formula and see how that would work.”

House went so far as to see if Amazon could ship her formula from overseas.

Similarly, Kayleigh Rogers is desperate to find formula for her son. She said the hunt for formula is “so stressful.” She has turned to social media, along with thousands of other parents, to get formula.

“I am posting on Facebook probably almost everyday now at this point, posting in Facebook groups, I am calling around stores, I am just Googling where I can find this formula and it’s hard,” Rogers said.

She said she gets Facebook notification all day long from other mothers searching for formula. If a post does come across that someone has some, it’s gone almost immediately.

“Once someone does post ‘we have some’ it’s bombarded with comments,” Rogers said. “If you do get a chance to comment, there’s probably already 100 people ahead of you.”

Her son requires a special amino acid-based formula because he cannot drink cow’s milk or soy. She said she is down to about two days’ supply right now and plans on taking her son formula hunting in the coming days.

“I should have some coming in next week, fingers crossed. I ordered it off Facebook, so I’m hoping it does show up,” Rogers said. “That’s what we’re waiting on. If not, we are going out tomorrow to look for formula.”

The federal government is now stepping in to try to solve the problem.

The House Oversight Committee is investigating the shortage and is pressing manufacturers to lay out steps they’re taking to address the issue.

The White House is exploring ways to make it easier to import formula, and created a web portal for parents who need access to specific types of formula.

President Joe Biden met with executives from Gerber and Reckitt on Friday to see how they might be able to ramp up production, and whether the federal government could aid in the endeavor.

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