May 20 at 7:43 AM · Baltimore County Department of Health Offers Guidance during Baby Formula Shortage
The February recall of several different infant formulas has made it increasingly difficult for families to find and purchase the product. Baltimore County is working closely with the Maryland Department of Health to provide information and resources to families with newborns and infants.
In addition to the February recall, ongoing supply chain issues related to the pandemic are contributing to this national shortage. Breastfeeding is one of the recommendations for addressing this shortage.
“Breastfeeding offers antibodies that protect infants from certain illnesses like COVID, diarrhea and respiratory infections,” said Baltimore County Health Officer Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch. “If you are able to breastfeed, you should.” Employers are also encouraged to provide access to safe spaces for pumping for their employees who select this option.
Recognizing that breastfeeding is not a viable option for every family, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program is working to connect families to needed resources during this critical time. WIC participants should contact their local WIC office for assistance locating products. If you are not a current WIC participant, visit the Maryland WIC website to see if you are eligible and to apply. Some general guidance during this critical shortage includes the following:
- Contact your pediatrician to discuss immediate concerns, including information on comparable formulas that can replace specialized ones.
- Do not dilute formula in an effort to stretch your supply.
- Do not use a homemade formula.
- Do use a different brand or type of formula when available.
- If you are interested in learning more about breastfeeding and other resources, contact your local WIC office by calling 1-800-242-4942, or see the resources provided below.1