Can’t Find Baby Formula in Washington? Here’s What DOH Says To Do
If you have a new baby in the family- Congratulations & Good Luck!
Congrats on the joy of new life and the promise of an amazing future and Good Luck finding baby formula given the nationwide shortage!
Formula Shortages Continue
Bloomberg News reports:
US baby-food shortages driven by everything from supply-chain chaos to product recalls are driving some Americans to try to make baby formula themselves. Nationwide, the average out-of-stock rate for baby formula was 43% the week ended May 8, up from 31% in early April and 11% at the end of November.
The latest map I found shows Washington State at 42% out-of-stock which has nudged the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) to release the following information.
Department Of Health Shares Resources & Contacts
The information the DOH presents is sourced from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,(DHHS) the Washington WIC program, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,(CDC), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.(FDA)
If you are struggling to find infant formula and have concerns about your child’s nutrition, your first step is to check out the links and resources provided to get accurate information. If you still have concerns about your child’s health, contact your child’s primary care provider’s office and ask to speak with a nurse, medical assistant, or health educator on your child’s care team.
The DOH says that people needing connection to health care providers, call the Help Me Grow WA hotline at 1-800-322-2588 for referrals and to apply for food and health resources in Washington.
Women, Infants & Children Programs
WIC participants and families should contact your local WIC clinic to get infant formula benefits replaced or change baby formulas. WIC has expanded the types of formula they provide to offer more choices for families participating in the program. They can often tell you which stores have formula in stock. If you can’t reach your local clinic, call the state WIC office at 1-800-841-1410 Monday to Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. Check the Washington WIC web page for more information on approved replacement infant formulas.
Do Not DIY
One thing that isn't recommended is to try your hand at making formula yourself. The Academy of Pediatrics cautions not to play home chemist because formula recipes might not have enough vital nutrients or could contain too much salt or other elements that could be harmful to your baby.
.DOH Extra Tips
- Check smaller stores and drug stores or buy online from reputable distributors and pharmacies.
- Contact manufacturers directly:
- Gerber’s MyGerber Baby Expert: reach a certified nutrition or lactation consultant by phone, text, Facebook Messenger, web chat, or video call, who can help you identify a similar formula that may be more readily available
- Abbott’s Consumer Hotline: call 1-800-986-8540
- Abbott’s urgent product request line: ask your OBGYN or your infant’s pediatrician to submit an urgent product request by downloading and completing the form - PDF
- Mead Johnson/Reckitt’s Customer Service line: call 1-800 BABY-123 (222-9123)
- Check out community resources:
- Locate your nearest Community Action Agency (CAA). Your neighborhood CAA may be able to provide you with formula or connect you with local agencies that have formula in stock.
- United Way’s 2-1-1: dial 2–1-1 to be connected to a community resource specialist affiliated with United Way who may be able to help you identify food pantries and other charitable sources of local infant formula and baby food.
- Feeding America: call your local food bank to ask whether they have infant formula and other supplies in stock.
- Human Milk Banking Association of North America(HMBANA): certain HMBANA-accredited milk banks are distributing donated breast milk to mothers in need; please note that some may require a prescription from a medical professional. Find an HMBANA-accredited milk bank.
The DOH says parents should see its new nutritional guidance resources page for more information on what to do and actions to take that are safe for their child.