HOUSTON (KIAH) — As the baby formula shortage continues to spread throughout the U.S., moms and families here in Houston, as well as Texas, are seeing the impacts as well.

Texas is at the top of the list of states experiencing a mass shortage of baby formula supply.

In fact, The Motherhood Center in Houston says families are driving across state lines looking for milk and formula. Some parents are ordering from other countries.

Texas isn’t the only state facing this problem. Iowa, North and South Dakota, Missouri, and Tennessee are also experiencing a widespread shortage. Aside from those states, 26 others are also running low on baby formula.

This issue started back in February when the FDA recalled three brands of powdered formula due to potential bacterial infections.

Now, companies are struggling to meet the current demand. Mothers are turning to other alternatives. However, health officials are warning mothers about the dangers of diluting formula or attempting to make their own.

“Because the nutrition value, it’s hard to recreate. And so – and some parents are even trying to dilute the formula with some water and that’s again not good and healthy for babies,” said Gabriela Gerhart, Founder, and President of the Motherhood Center.

Some local stores are limiting customers on the number of formula cans they can buy at one time. The Motherhood Center says their limit is five cans per week.

“If you don’t need it, don’t stack up. Because it’s really – there are other families which ruly need it. And now they are not able to provide for their children,” said Gerhart.

As the out-of-stock rates continue to rise, parents are starting to worry.

“We literally have traveled hundreds of miles. But, now we’re stuck with they only have the big cans so we’re stuck paying double the price than we normally would,” said one mother.

In July of 2021, the rate was between two and eight percent. From November 2021 to April 2022, the rate increased to 31 percent. Within the last three weeks, the out-of-stock rate has jumped up to 40 percent.

The Motherhood Center says manufacturers are producing at full capacity.

Baby formula alternatives

If your family is running low on supplies, here are a few things you can do at home.

  1. Freeze the formula
  2. Seek donations from a milk bank
  3. Purchase from overseas. Europe to be specific.

The organization also recommends checking with your local milk bank or using social media groups to connect with other moms in need. For additional resources, you can contact The Motherhood Center.

That number is 713-963-8880. Their facility is located at 3701 W. Alabama Ste 230,
Houston, TX 77027