The baby formula shortage could be temporary, experts say, and here’s how Floridians can get through it


The baby formula shortage might be hitting Florida as hard or worse as any other part of the country.

Florida has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the United States, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

Dr. Sandra Sullivan, a pediatrician at UF Health Shands, said it’s important for families not to panic, as this issue is a short-term problem.

“Parents are very concerned about being able to feed their babies, so I think it’s just one of the many unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves in, yet again,” Sullivan said. “People are very concerned about being able to find enough formula to feed their babies, and I think that is causing a lot of distress for families.”

Sullivan said the long-term implications are low since there are many other alternatives to the missing formula.

Other options for baby formula are relactation, other brand formulas, donor breast milk and donor milk banks like the Mothers’ Milk Bank of Florida.

Medical experts warn that it’s not safe for a baby to go from formula to breastfeeding back to formula. Some pediatricians suggest toddler formula temporarily.

At six months, babies are ready for solid food and families can start introducing whole cow’s milk along with complimentary foods.

Sullivan said if the state and national governments recognize the importance of paid family leave and supporting breastfeeding, then the impact of a formula shortage wouldn’t be as impactful in the future and there wouldn’t be as much of a reliance on the formula industry.

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