Baby drinking from bottle. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Information provided by County of San Benito

The San Benito County Public Health Services said that there continues to be a shortage of infant formula nationwide due to supply chain issues and a recall of infant formula due to bacterial contamination in the Abbott manufacturing plant in Michigan.

“Compared to other states California is faring better, but the shortages are still of concern for many families,” the county said.

The press release said the federal government is currently working on strategies to increase production of formula and help families access existing stock. It added that during this challenging time, the San Benito County Public Health Services, in partnership with the San Benito County Healthy Mothers/Healthy Babies Coalition encourage parents and families to:

  • Talk to your doctor: Consult your child’s pediatrician if your baby requires a specialized formula and needs a recommendation for a comparable formula to use. For most babies, if their regular brand of formula is not available, it is okay to substitute with a similar version. If you have questions about which formula is acceptable, or if you still have difficulty finding formula, contact your child’s pediatric provider.
  • Avoid making your own formula at home, watering down formula to make it last longer, using expired formula, using fresh fluid or canned cow, goat or plant-based milk for formula, or giving toddler formula to infants. Doing so can reduce the amount of nutrients a baby receives which can lead to potential serious health complications.
  • Breastfeed if possible. If someone is currently breastfeeding, they may consider reaching out to a lactation care provider (in-person or by telehealth) to help ensure that they maintain or increase their milk supply.
  • Apply to the WIC program. According to their website, San Benito County residents can contact the San Benito Health Foundation at (831) 637-6871 or go to the San Benito Health Foundation website to schedule an appointment.
  • Find out what resources exist in the community and share those resources widely. If you see infant formula in stock when you’re shopping, make it known within your network. The more we help each other the more successful we’ll be at getting through this shortage.

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