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Doctors warns parents against making their own formula as shortage continues

Published: May. 13, 2022 at 5:44 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The recent baby formula shortage is putting a strain on families across the country.

“Just a simple formula that is really easy to find and it’s nowhere to be found,” said Bridget Taylor.

As families continue to search for formula, the Alabama Department of Public Health is urging parents not to make their own formula.

“The formulas are manufactured to provide the babies with essential calories, the proteins, fats carbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals that you’re not going to get by making your own,” said Dr. Katherine Savells.

The Department of Public Health says alternatives made with things like plant-based milk can lead to problems as babies grow.

“They can be caloric deficient meaning that they’re not going to gain weight appropriately they can also not get the nutrients for their bones and brains to develop,” said Savells.

Some of those nutrients include DHA and iron that won’t be found in plant-based milk but will be in the right amount for baby formulas. Dr. Savells says goat milk isn’t a good substitute either.

“I have taken care of infants that were on goat’s milk in the past. Again very anemic, they became zinc deficient, a lot of complications” said Savells.

And as parents try to get as much formula as possible doctors are warning parents not to dilute the formula with water to stretch it out.

“In addition to causing electrolyte imbalances, they’re not going to get the calories they need and they’re not going to develop properly,” said Savells.

Dr. Savells is urging parents to check with their pediatricians especially if your baby needs a hypoallergenic formula that’s hard to come by before you consider any alternatives. She also says if you buy formula online make sure it’s coming a reputable place like a store or a company that makes it.

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