New parents say baby formula shortage is ‘awful’

Morning In America

(NewsNation) — Being a first-time parent is hard for anyone. Having a newborn during a nationwide baby formula shortage makes it even more challenging.

“It’s been impossible, really” to find formula, said Emily-Anne Walker, who has an 11-week-old baby, Eleanor, with husband Casey.

Making things harder is that little Eleanor has a cow’s milk protein intolerance. And with Emily-Anne returning to work next week, she’s been under more pressure to find formula — but hasn’t seen any on the shelves.

“It’s awful,” Casey said. “It’s already stressful being a new parent, and then you add in this, it’s really tough.”

Eleanor was actually born the same weekend Abbott Nutrition was forced to shut down its Sturgis, Michigan, manufacturing plant. This happened after contamination concerns arose when two babies died after consuming Abbott’s formula. The company recalled its products, which contributed to the infant formula shortage.

The couple wasn’t watching the news when Eleanor was being delivered. But they were getting numerous texts not to buy formula.

“It was just really scary,” Emily-Anne said.

“We got some samples from our pediatrician,” Casey added. “And I think of the four samples, all of them were involved in that recall.”

Social media has been one way parents are coping amid the formula shortage. Emily-Anne said she’s part of multiple Facebook groups helping moms find formula.

These groups have also highlighted just how big of an issue this has been.

“All day on my feed, I’m seeing moms who can’t find what they need,” Emily-Anne said.

For now, Emily-Anne said, she’s continuing to pump and nurse her baby.

“It is an added stress, knowing that we can’t just run to the store in case I get sick, or we need anything,” she said. “So I’m just continuing to breastfeed.”

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