(KRON) — The infant formula shortage is causing a great deal of concern for parents and guardians here in the Bay Area.
It is also raising many issues about what to do about it.
“Do not make homemade formula, there is a specific formulation,” Dr. Laurie Salameh, the chief of pediatrics at Kaiser Permanente of Santa Rosa Medical Center said. “Do not dilute, I know it is tempting when running low, but too much water is bad for infants.”
The doctor says they’re working with new mothers and expecting families about the infant formula shortage and how to deal with this latest supply chain problem, affecting the most vulnerable.
“There are many reasons why the formula is necessary, the baby could be premature, adoption might the issue, or the mom could be feeding twins, and need more,” Salameh said. “Babies need formula.”
Salameh shared advice and good practices for parents who are in need of formula.
“Only buy from a trusted source,” Salameh said. “A store brand is ok, so is a different brand is ok, switching is ok as well.”
This shortage started to unravel in the fall due to supply chain issues but got worse in February when several babies fell ill and two died. The FDA shut down an Abbott industries plant connected to the suspect formula for an investigation.
Abbott is the lead manufacturer of several brands of formula supplying formula to many families using federal and state assistance programs.
“We are directing families to health departments if they are facing problems,” the doctor said.
A random check at two stores in Marin County, found signs asking customers to only take one container at a time. Online, many websites showed supplies out of stock with no update on when they might be back in.
A spokesperson from both Marin County Public Health and San Francisco County Public Health say they are closely monitoring the situation and coordinating supplies for those most in need.