The New Journos

Parents worry about baby formula shortage: “Never did I think I would ever be rationing formula”

Taylor Miller can’t allow even a drop of baby formula go to waste. With empty shelves across the country and some retailers limiting baby formula purchases to prevent hoarding, the Texas mother is having to ration formula. 

“Never did I think I would ever be rationing formula,” Miller told CBS News. 

Miller now feeds her 4-month-old daughter, Magnolia, two ounces every two hours, instead of four ounces every four hours, in hopes of avoiding leftovers she might have to throw out because it’s spoiled. 

“We’ll literally waste a whole tank of gas in a day trying to find formula and maybe only find one can,” Miller said. 

Miller hasn’t found any formula for weeks, and is down to a two-week supply. 

Baby formula out-of-stock rates nationwide continue to increase, according to Datasembly. In November, the out-of-stock rate was 11%, jumping to 31% by early April. It’s since increased to 40%. 

A February recall by manufacturer Abbott Laboratories contributed to the shortage but experts say supply chain issues and inflation were factors well before then.

The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday it is working to increase imports and ease the review process to add more supply. 

Increasingly desperate, Miller and her sister, who also has an infant, have asked others for help. 

“There’s family in Louisiana. I had some friends in Georgia and Tennessee look. We have family in Delaware. I mean, literally coast to coast, and nobody has found anything,” Miller said. 

The dwindling supply also has doctors worried. 

“Our biggest fear is that parents dilute the formula and this is a big no-no,” Dr. Dyan Hes, medical director at Gramercy Pediatrics, told CBS News. “Diluted formula gives too little calories. When you dilute it, you’re giving your baby less energy, less calories.”

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