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June 30, 2022

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Resources to Help Families Find Infant Formula During the Shortage

Manufacturer hotlines, community resource info and general advice to help families find baby formula.

The government has launched a web page with a roundup of resources to help families who are unable to find baby formula during the current infant formula shortage.

The website, HHS.gov/formula, includes manufacturer hotlines for Gerber, Abbott and Reckitts. It also has information about community resources like United Way’s 2-1-1 program, Feeding America and the Human Milk Banking Association of North America.

Manufacturers have ramped up production 30 – 50 percent, bringing total production today above pre-recall levels with a different mix of products and sizes now available in the market. Many families continue to encounter challenges obtaining infant formula — especially families of about 5,000 infants as well as some older children and adults with rare metabolic diseases that depend on specialty formulas.

If you are unable to readily find formula, please consult the following resources that may be able to assist:

Manufacturer Hotlines

  • 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
  • Reckitt’s Customer Service line: call 1-800 BABY-123 (222-9123)

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.

WIC-Eligible Families

  • Contact your local WIC  office to identify or obtain additional sources of infant formula nearby.

General Guidance

  • Call your OBGYN or pediatrician to see if they have in-office samples or can suggest a similar formula that may be more readily available in stores and is nutritionally similar to your infant’s typical formula.
  • You should not water down formula, try to make formula at home, or use toddler formula to feed infants. Don’t discard formula unless it is expired or is part of the recall. Check your formula’s lot code to see whether or not it was affected by the recall.
  • You can find more guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

 

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About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing and Entertainment Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 3-year-old Ezra.