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Baby formula shortage is hitting home

rickandcindy23

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This is baby Olivia last week at the Frozen Ever After sing along in Disney World:
1652542749985.png
 

Cornell

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@rickandcindy23 Hello. Wanted to share w/you that I have had no luck finding the specific formula you are looking for. I live in a small town and can find plenty of formula on the shelves at all types of retailers. But not what you are looking for. It's interesting as where I live there are reasonably full shelves. Very different from Chicago area where they are practically bare. I wish I had better news for you.
 

geist1223

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The babies are starting on solid foods as of a few days ago. I am hoping for them to be able to stretch the formula a bit longer.

@rapmarks It's funny that a friend and I were wondering what formula replaced from when we were kids? I thought cow's milk, maybe, unless the child was intolerant of it, then it was goat's milk, maybe. You answered the question with that picture.
We were very lucky. Kids were all singles, born 3 to 4 years apart, and my 1st Wife produced more than enough milk. When they started on more solid food we did the jarred Baby Food for only a short time. Quickly switched to our own home made Baby Food. Put left overs through a very Fine Food Processor. Then into ice cube trays. Once frozen solid into marked zip lock bags kept in the freezer. Worked for my Kids plus they were exposed to a lot of different foods from a very early age.
 

Cornell

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I have seen a variety of home recipes for making formula. I hope any mom who consider making their own formula check with their pediatrician first.

Let the judging begin. It's so easy for people/celebrities to open their mouths - not everyone walks in the same shoes/lives in the same environment.
When I had a baby 19 YO the judgements were off the chart on the whole breast / formula deal. It's really one of the worst things you can do to an unsure, hormonal mom. Some things never change.

I breast fed my own daughter but was so exhausted and obsessive about the whole thing that I made a promise I would formula feed if I had more babies (I didn't ) b/c it was making me neurotic.
 

Sandi Bo

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You probably don't need any more advice on how to feed your grandbabies, but here goes... When I struggled to transition my daughter (at 4 months) from breast milk to formula, I ended up very slowly changing the ratio - mixing 25% formula with 75% breastmilk, then 50/50, etc. Otherwise, she vomited entire bottles almost immediately after drinking her a bottle of formula. It worked for me. It would also extend out your supply. Sure hope you can find what you need or something that works, hate to see them colicly, etc.

I had an amazing 'Nana' watch my babies. But she was from the age of raising babies on formula. So left her breastmilk and formula to back it up, she gave the formula first. Only to call me after my daughter immediately vomited the entire bottle and say 'Sandi, you were right'. After that, she'd be telling me she need more breast milk. Clearly she did not understand the process or what she was asking. I loved her dearly, she was the very best babysitter I could have had. She did not understand. I pumped at work and was asked by a nurse at work not to put my milk in the refrigerator as people put their lunches in there <gasp>.

I find it amusing, if that is the right word choice, pediatricians urging people not to make their own. Well, geez, if you can't find anything else, you'd think they'd give you a clue what to do instead.

My understanding is it was a voluntary recall, due to a bacterial issue, and the possible deaths of 2 babies has not been confirmed to be linked to the formula. And they are expecting FDA approval to reopen in about 2 weeks (and as others have mentioned, it'll take a while before it's readily available).

Everyone is out around here, but I'll keep an eye out.
 

rapmarks

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When my daughter had baby number 2, she flew down with 2 year old and newborn and stayed two and a half months. She was breast feeding and she stored it in little baggies in the freezer. Her husband came down in the middle and brought a huge cooler back and put it in their freezer. Then she filled another large cooler. When it was time to fly home, a girlfriend came down to help her. They filled the entire van and I could not fit for the ride to the airport. When she went back to work, she had a lot of breast milk for the day care.
 

Tank

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I have heard to go to Amazon (Canadian)
that they have no shortage and will ship to the USA
If it works , good luck
 

glenmore

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This Similac appears to currently be available at our Walmart.

A236B625-B578-48D1-A012-07179E484822.png
37B0766D-3FE1-44F6-90DA-46F5CD424EE0.png
 

wackymother

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This list of resources was posted on my NextDoor site:

If you or someone you know can't find infant formula for your baby, please see the resources below. To help get the word out, kindly click the "Share" button below to "Repost" this message to your neighbors.

MANUFACTURE HOTLINES:
➡ Gerber's MyGerber Baby Expert (https://www.gerber.com/mygerber-baby-expert): reach a certified nutrition or lactation consultant by phone, text, Facebook Messenger, web chat, or video call, who can help you identify a similar formula that may be more readily available
➡ Abbott's Consumer Hotline: call 1-800-986-8540
➡ Abbott's urgent product request line (https://abbottnutrition.com/metabolics): ask your OBGYN or your infant's pediatrician to submit an urgent product request by downloading and completing the form - PDF (https://static.abbottnutrition.com/cms-prod/abbottnutrition-2016.com/img/22-PSN-C_Print-Metabolics_Urgent_Product_RequestForm_FA04a.pdf)
➡ Reckitt's Customer Service line: call 1-800 BABY-123 (222-9123)

COMMUNITY RESOURCES:
➡ United Way's 2-1-1 (https://www.211.org/about-us/your-local-211): dial 2–1-1 to be connected to a community resource specialist affiliated with United Way who may be able to help you identify food pantries and other charitable sources of local infant formula and baby food.
➡ Feeding America (https://www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank): call your local food bank to ask whether they have infant formula and other supplies in stock. ➡ Human Milk Banking Association of North America (https://www.hmbana.org/find-a-milk-bank/): certain HMBANA-accredited milk banks are distributing donated breast milk to mothers in need; please note that some may require a prescription from a medical professional. Find an HMBANA-accredited milk bank (https://www.hmbana.org/find-a-milk-bank/).

WIC-ELIGIBLE FAMILIES:
➡ Contact your local WIC (https://www.signupwic.com/) office to identify or obtain additional sources of infant formula nearby.

GENERAL GUIDANCE:
➡ Call your OBGYN or pediatrician to see if they have in-office samples or can suggest a similar formula that may be more readily available in stores and is nutritionally similar to your infant's typical formula.

➡ You should NOT water down formula, try to make formula at home, or use toddler formula to feed infants. Don't discard formula unless it is expired or is part of the recall. Check your formula's lot code (https://www.similacrecall.com/us/en/product-lookup.html) to see whether or not it was affected by the recall.
➡ You can find more guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics (https://healthychildren.org/English/tips-tools/ask-the-pediatrician/Pages/Are-there-shortages-of-infant-formula-due-to-COVID-19.aspx). For additional information, please see this new fact sheet from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with resources for locating safe formula: https://go.usa.gov/xu6MR
 

Snazzylass

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Thank you! Boy, we are all getting up to speed on baby formula now, right? I looked at Fry's (Kroger) - nada, though I'm thinking Walmart or Target and such are probably better places to try. I've heard CVS and Walgreens were limiting purchases. And, apparently AZ is one of 8 states that has only half it's normal supply. Still I'll keep looking. Finally, it seems 70% of babies feed with formula. I sure wouldn't question a working mother of twins :)
 

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I suspect that lysteria was the cause for the recall and plant closure. It is very difficult to eliminate and is a major problem once it gets in a system. It is less likely to be present in the powder products, but I bet most of the recalled products were liquid. Abbott likely consolidated its manufacturing to cut costs and now produces a majority of their formula products in one plant. I wouldn't be surprised if they keep minimum inventory in order to save cost. These practices boost the balance sheet, but make companies much more susceptible to a major issue in a plant. The shipping problems in the US only compound this issue.

There are only 3 major companies that produce baby formula in the US, and Abbott is the largest. It is a highly regulated industry, so it is difficult for another company to enter the business. The US has different formulation requirements than Canada and other countries, so imports are difficult. I hope companies learn from this issue and recognize the need for multiple manufacturing facilities to avoid this type of problem in the future.
 

Superchief

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I saw a news report last night that Abbott came to agreement with the FDA to start production again at the plant. However, they said it would be another 8 weeks before they start shipping product. No details were provided regarding why the plant shut down. This situation is rather strange. If there had been a contamination problem, I would expect that an inspection would be sufficient. Why did they need to come to an agreement? Additionally, shipments should be able to resume within a week of starting production. Why would it take 8 weeks? I still don't understand how Abbott got to the point of having only one plant produce a majority of their product.

Update: USA Today Report

Abbott states it was a voluntary recall, but why would the FDA need to become involved in order to reopen the plant. This whole situation is somewhat concerning.
 
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Snazzylass

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I suspect that lysteria was the cause for the recall and plant closure. It is very difficult to eliminate and is a major problem once it gets in a system. It is less likely to be present in the powder products, but I bet most of the recalled products were liquid. Abbott likely consolidated its manufacturing to cut costs and now produces a majority of their formula products in one plant. I wouldn't be surprised if they keep minimum inventory in order to save cost. These practices boost the balance sheet, but make companies much more susceptible to a major issue in a plant. The shipping problems in the US only compound this issue.

There are only 3 major companies that produce baby formula in the US, and Abbott is the largest. It is a highly regulated industry, so it is difficult for another company to enter the business. The US has different formulation requirements than Canada and other countries, so imports are difficult. I hope companies learn from this issue and recognize the need for multiple manufacturing facilities to avoid this type of problem in the future.
And, it was announced that whatever bacteria that was found in the factory is unrelated to the bacteria that caused the death of the 2 infants.
 

needvaca

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I saw a news report last night that Abbott came to agreement with the FDA to start production again at the plant. However, they said it would be another 8 weeks before they start shipping product. No details were provided regarding why the plant shut down. This situation is rather strange. If there had been a contamination problem, I would expect that an inspection would be sufficient. Why did they need to come to an agreement? Additionally, shipments should be able to resume within a week of starting production. Why would it take 8 weeks? I still don't understand how Abbott got to the point of having only one plant produce a majority of their product.

Update: USA Today Report

Abbott states it was a voluntary recall, but why would the FDA need to become involved in order to reopen the plant. This whole situation is somewhat concerning.
That plant had problems for a long time. deferred maintenance, covering up and failing to correct problems. Basically trying to do things as cheaply as possible and not get caught.
They got away with it for some time due to severe funding cuts at the FDA and OSHA (and many gov't agencies). Business regulations and oversight has gone way down and this is a natural consequence.

 

Superchief

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It is hard to believe that a major corporation who controls over half of the baby formula market would allow these things to occur at its major manufacturing facility. I'm sure they had staffing issues during the Covid shutdowns in Michigan, but these appear to be ongoing problems that management should have resolved years ago. When I worked in Columbus, several of my coworkers had worked at Abbott's corporate headquarters and said employees weren't treated very well, even though they've been a very profitable and a market leader for several years. I hope a competitor steps in and becomes the market leader. We used Enfamil powder formula when our daughters were young, and they both did well on it.
 

MrockStar

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2Months seems like a long time to ramp up production and get cans on shelves unless the plant was mothballed awaiting a ruling.
 

LisaH

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We also have a newborn in the family. Luckily he started with Kirkland Brand formula and it can still be found at the local Costcos. In any cases, it’s supposed to be comparable to Similac Pro Advance. Not sure if this is one of the brands your daughter in law has already tried to give the twins. If not, maybe worth a try?
 

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rickandcindy23

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She may be forced to buy a different brand. Right now she has people scouring the state and neighboring states for the one that the babies have been doing well with. I believe she tried a Costco formula that didn't work out. She was aware of this shortage and tried a couple of them. Twin babies, you don't want two tummy-aches.
 

MrockStar

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Sadly, a lot of the available formula is being stored in warehouses near the southern border to accommodate those who illegally enter the USA (but you likely won't hear much mention of this situation).

The good news is that the Defense Production Act has now been invoked and this should help alleviate issues within a few months as production ramps up while the USA begins to take in Formula from other countries.

Let's hope everything is back to normal by the middle of July.



.
I hope the babies can last that long. :-\
 

Cornell

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She may be forced to buy a different brand. Right now she has people scouring the state and neighboring states for the one that the babies have been doing well with. I believe she tried a Costco formula that didn't work out. She was aware of this shortage and tried a couple of them. Twin babies, you don't want two tummy-aches.
I continue to look and I'm striking out.
 

Mongoose

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2Months seems like a long time to ramp up production and get cans on shelves unless the plant was mothballed awaiting a ruling.
The FDA sat on it for two months. They care more about their procedures than the impacts their actions have. This should have been a priorit from day one.
 
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Mongoose

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Never thought I'd see a day in America where we are worried about how to feed our infants.
Or have to choose between buying gas for work or groceries for food.
 

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It's interesting that about half of the US baby formula is purchased using the WIC program. Each state has their own list of what products qualify. Ohio fortunately selected Mead Johnson as their primary supplier even though Abbott is based in Columbus. They must have seen the quality issues at Abbott. It appears Mead Johnson is significantly increasing their production to help make up for the shortages caused by the Abbott recalls and shut down.

 
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