AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT)— On Feb. 17, the FDA warned consumers not to use certain powdered infant formula products from the Abbott Nutrition facility in Sturgis, Michigan. A voluntary recall of certain products followed. Since that time, the FDA has been working with Abbott and other manufacturers to bring safe products to the U.S. market.

But the Abbot shortage, coupled with supply chain issues, has sent parents across the country into a panic. Store shelves are bare. Baby formula products simply are not available.

Dr. Garner, a researcher at the TTUHSC InfantRisk Center says when it comes to changing up formula, it’s ok if they have the same minimum nutrient requirements, and make sure you’re switching them over the course of a few days, and make sure you don’t dilute the formula to make it last longer.

Dr. Garner also says not to make baby formula at home, and that it can be dangerous. When it comes to giving children cow’s milk, Dr. Garner says infants 6-12 months old has guidance here showing it may be ok for a short period of time. Another option becoming popular is buying formula from surrounding places like Canada. “When it comes to purchasing formula from another country, a country like Canada has similar safety regulations to the U.S. There are some slight differences, but I would say they are not really going to have a drastic effect for a normally-developing healthy infant. The formula is regulated by Health Canada much like here in the U.S. with the FDA as baby formula needs to have central proteins, vitamins and nutritional requirements. So, formulas in both countries are tightly regulated.”

Both Dr. Garner and Dr. Kaytlin Krutsch from the TTUHSC InfantRisk Center advocate for breastfeeding as much as possible.

“Research indicates that younger women, particularly under the age of 20, less-educated women, women with low-income and socioeconomic status and women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds are more inclined to not breastfeed their babies. Barriers to breastfeeding success include a lack of knowledge, social norms associated with breastfeeding, poor family and social support, lactation problems, returning to work and accessing supportive childcare. There is also a major lack of understanding of drug interaction and breast milk. The IRC, a worldwide call center located in Amarillo that is used by physicians, nurses, lactation consultants and parents, was established to support breastfeeding individuals as these sorts of questions arise. We do our best to help anyone evaluate the risk to the infant of exposure to maternal medications and help keep mom breastfeeding safely. We work every day to answer difficult and often unknown problems for our callers, and we’re almost always able to find a way to help find safe treatments for these mothers.”

InfantRisk Center

At Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center 1 (806) 352-2519