Formula shortage affecting Southwest Florida

Published: May 12, 2022 3:55 PM EDT
Updated: May 12, 2022 4:26 PM EDT

Parents across the nation are struggling to feed their babies.

A formula shortage is hitting homes everywhere and in Southwest Florida, it is no different.

Experts believe it could take more than a month to get enough formula back on shelves.

Parents can try to shop for formula when stores first open because that is when they are likely to be fully stocked.

Georgina Miranda visited four stores across Southwest Florida on Thursday in hopes of finding the formula her baby drinks.

“Otherwise, I will try a different formula,” Miranda said.

But other families don’t have that option.

Karrie Fraser’s 3-week-old baby relied on formula when he was first born.

The hospital sent Frader home with more than enough.

“I’ve never been in a position where I didn’t feel like I couldn’t feed my baby and provide for him so I can’t imagine how stressful that would be,” Fraser said.

Lee Health Pediatrician Dr. Phillip Mote said if you can’t find what you need in the store, give your pediatrician a call.

Sometimes they have samples and other sizes in stock.

Whatever you do, don’t stretch out the formula with more water.

“You’re giving too much free water to a baby. And a K in short, you’re kind of just messing with electrolytes, and babies can’t handle that based on their kidney development,” Mote said.

If you are running out of options Mote advocates asking a mom you know who is breastfeeding to give you any of her leftover milk. Mote said if your baby is over 1, it’s OK to switch over to regular milk or plant-based milk, but check with your pediatrician first.

That’s what mom Amanda Vanderzee did for her friend.

“She went to seven different targets all sold out of the formula she needed for her son. So we were able to give her our freezer stash of milk until she was able to find formula,” Vanderzee said.

But for now, Miranda hopes she’ll score at store number five.

“We have to find it. there is no other way. I don’t breastfeed her. It has to be formula,” Miranda said.