Nationwide baby formula shortage creating problems for New Jersey mothers
The nationwide baby formula shortage is hitting home for mothers in New Jersey despite the federal government taking steps to find a solution.
President Joe Biden invoked the Defense Production Act to boost supply, while the House passed a bill to help lower-income families buy formula. But this doesn’t help parents who are stuck now.
"Very concerned,” Kabulo Mwilambwe told News 12. “We looked at local ShopRite, we didn't find any.”
Mwilambe is just one of several mothers dealing with the nerve-racking feeling because of the shortage.
"It's surprising it is happening, especially concerning babies,” she added. “You want to make sure they are well fed. "
Pediatrician Dr. Sheeba Ben of Riverside Medical Group says she has been taking calls from concerned parents, with the most common questions involve switching brands. Ben told News 12 that switching brands is OK and even generic brands will work if the child isn't on a specialized formula.
But Ben says that mothers making their own formula at home or diluting the formula they already have to make it go further poses trouble.
"You could have nutritional deficiencies if you are trying to make your own formula at home,” Ben said. “Diluting the formulas down could cause nutritional imbalance. The electrolyte imbalances have had children actually end up in the emergency room, not to mention not getting enough calories."
Mothers looking for formula can contact their pediatrician. Many doctor's offices have samples of different formulas on hand and can give them away to those in need. Ben also suggests checking smaller stores, or pharmacies.
Some pediatricians say it's OK to let babies close to 1-year-old drink some cow’s milk in an emergency.