Baby Formula Shortage

Mostly empty grocery store shelves with only two containers of Similac baby formula sitting on them.Baby formula shortages have been stressful on parents and caregivers. These shortages, which were caused by supply-chain problems during COVID-19, was made worse by the recent recall of several baby formula products due to possible contamination.

For families impacted by the infant formula shortage, the Ohio Department of Health recommends:

  • Never dilute your formula. Diluting infant formula with water or other liquids can be dangerous and even life-threatening for babies.
  • Do not try to make homemade formula. Homemade formulas often have inadequate amounts of critical nutrients. Other consequences can include severe nutritional imbalances to foodborne illnesses, both of which can be life-threatening.
  • Consult with your infant/child’s healthcare provider for specific nutrition recommendations as they will know best what is right for your child.
  • Call the store to ask about product availability.
  • If you do not see the formula you need on the shelf, consider kindly asking a store associate for assistance.
  • If you rely on WIC benefits for your formula and are unable to locate it at a WIC vendor, consider going to a non-WIC store to purchase formula with your SNAP or TANF benefits.
  • Consider talking to the pharmacy to ask for help if your child is on a specialized formula.
  • If your child is on a specialty or medical formula, call their healthcare provider to ask about adjusting their prescription to an appropriate alternative formula.
  • If you need help increasing milk supply, reach out to WIC for help or call the 24/7 Breastfeeding Hotline at 888-588-3423 or text “BFHOTLINE” to 839863.
  • If funds are available, and a medical need is present, pasteurized donor milk may be available, at cost, through the Ohio Health Mother’s Milk Bank: (614) 566-0630.

Those participating in WIC may contact the state office at 1-800-755-GROW (4769) or their local WIC office for assistance.

For more information:

Ohio Department of Health

Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Franklin County WIC

CDC

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Photo credit: Samuel Corum/AFP via Getty