There is a massive shortage of baby formula nationwide in the U.S. as supply has dropped 40% since April.
Alana Cottrill, who is a mother of two as well as a breast cancer survivor, said it’s concerning that the media hasn’t paid significant attention to this big problem.
“After going through cancer, after going through treatment, we had all kinds of anxieties and concerns, however, I never imagined that we wouldn’t know if we could feed our baby, or we’d have to stress out about where we would get a food source for our child,” Cottrill said.
“I feel like word really isn’t getting out that there is a formula shortage,” Cottrill continued. “So really, that’s my question. Why is there not more attention being brought to this issue?
Christine Nesheiwat, who is the mother of an 11-month-old, criticized politicians for failing to address this problem.
“It has been a nightmare,” Nesheiwat said. “It seems like this is getting worse every day. It’s been going on for months now, and I don’t know when to expect the change.”
“I don’t know why this is not our government’s top priority, and it’s stressful,” she added.
A mother of an eight-month-old baby girl in Gallatin, Tennessee explained how the baby formula shortage across the country is impacting her family.
Wynter Balthrop lives about 30 miles north of Nashville and her daughter, Little Blakely, is on Enfamil’s Nutramigen formula. This is a hypoallergenic variety of baby formula.
“We went to six different stores and searched and called multiple others as far as three hours away from us,” Balthrop explained.
When using a generic brand, her baby becomes ill.
“I broke down in the car,” she said. “[I was] panicking and sad for my girl because we had enough formula left to make one bottle — and I knew we would have to use the generic formula that hurt her stomach again. And that broke my heart.”
“I mean, it just wasn’t fair to her,” she explained. “But we had no other options.” “I knew we would have to use the generic formula that hurt her stomach again. And that broke my heart.”
Many groceries stores have empty shelves across America.
This has impacted at least six states, including Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and Tennessee.
“Inflation, supply chain shortages and product recalls have brought an unprecedented amount of volatility for baby formula,” said founder and CEO Ben Reich in a statement.
“We expect to continue to see the baby formula category being dramatically affected by these conditions. Baby formula stock … has been one of the more affected categories so far in 2022, and one that will continue to demonstrate higher than average out-of-stock levels,” he also said.
“Thankfully,” said Balthrop, “we were able to find three bottles of ready-to-feed formula in stock at a store a few towns over the next morning — so I rushed to get it.”
The current baby formula shortage in the U.S. started with COVID-19 supply chain issues. But things escalated several months ago once Abbott Laboratories issued a recall of its Similac product, after reports that a bacterial infection caused two infant deaths, according to previous reporting by FOX Business.
Abbott voluntarily recalled one lot of Similac PM 60/40 manufactured in Sturgis, Michigan, on Feb. 28. This is in addition to other voluntary recalls of lots of Similac, Alimentum and EleCare powder formulas on Feb. 17, according to a company press release.
Wynter Balthrop of Tennessee has begun stockpiling formula to get them through her baby’s first birthday — she doesn’t see any other way.
“We are now grabbing every can or ready-to-feed bottle we see,” said Balthrop, “while also trying not to be greedy and leave some for others.”
“I’ve seen the fear in their eyes [over] the empty shelves at stores.”
Balthrop said it breaks her heart for those “mamas who aren’t so lucky and for those moms on supplemental programs such as WIC,” referring to the government’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.
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