Baby formula shortages hit local families

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JOPLIN, Mo. – Baby formula gets tricky to find for some 4-state families due to recalls and supply chain issues.


Anyone looking for baby formula in stores may be finding it harder amid recent recalls and shortages.

U.S retailers are limiting the amount of baby formula sold.

WIC Impact

“And of course, if you’re heavily on formula with your infant and all of a sudden you can’t get that, then that creates a problem,” said Larry Bergner, Administrator for the Newton County Health Department. 

The Health Department’s WIC program has been receiving more calls as of late, with concerned parents wondering why they can’t find formula.

“We have had some calls wondering why and we explain the situation with the recall and then refer them to other brands that they can try,” said Bergner.

Local Pediatrician Response to baby formula shortage

Baby formula brands like Similac may be harder to find, but luckily there are some alternatives, according to Freeman pediatrician, Dr. Beth Garrett. 

“There are lots of the generic formulas that are going to let their baby be healthy and strong, and then they realize that they can save money in this economy. Who doesn’t wanna save some money?”

 Garrett, a pediatrician with Freeman Children’s Clinic says recently, she’s dealt with many people, concerned about finding formula, and says there is concern if a baby doesn’t have access to any. 

“Below the age of 12 months, if a baby is not breastfeeding, you really do need formula. They cannot drink cow’s milk or goat’s milk. There are some big nutritional problems that can lead to hospitalization if you use a milk other than formula…breastfeeding is the gold standard. But we know that not all families can breastfeed due to various reasons.”

For anyone trying to make their formula go further, Dr. Garrett has a few warnings.

“Some people will try to thin out their formula to make it to the next paycheck or because maybe they can’t find it. And that will cause their sodium levels to be lower and that also can lead to seizures and hospitalization and the baby being sick.”

For best results, use the formula as instructed, by a pediatrician.

We also learn about alternatives from a local pediatrician, and what NOT to do for those trying to make the formula go further and last longer. You can watch the video below the poll.

KOAM News Now Poll

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Baby Formula Do’s and Don’ts

Dr. Beth Garrett is a Pediatrician at Freeman Health in Joplin. She spoke with us about Do’s and Dont’s.

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