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Parents seek alternatives amid formula shortage



Indianapolis, Indiana — The nationwide baby formula shortage has had an impact on hospitals, including ones in Indianapolis.

According to Staff at Franciscan Health, even though they are in good shape with supplies, the shortage has made things more stressful. More families are buying from the hospital’s milk bank, Libby Milch, lactation specialist at Franciscan Health, said. “I think they’re keeping up. It’s just it’s tighter than what we’re used to.”

According to Milch, more new parents are considering breastfeeding or donating breast milk but adding those alternatives won’t work for everyone.

The hospital on Thursday had enough formula for the babies who need it, she said. However, calls from concerned parents are still coming in.

“Those women that have called, we’re recommending they go to all kinds of stores, places maybe they haven’t thought of before, like drugstores or even organic-type stores because they also usually have brands of formula. Definitely trying to dissuade them from doing any type of homemade stuff. That’s very dangerous, especially for children under 6 months of age,” Milch said.

President Joe Biden announced emergency efforts to ease the shortage and strengthen the supply on Wednesday. The Democrat president is using the Defense Production Act to ensure manufacturers have the necessary ingredients to produce the safe and healthy formula. He also announced Operation Fly Formula, which is a partnership between the Department of Defense and the Department of Health and Human Services to send planes overseas to pick up formula.

According to Milch, in the meantime, parents should try their best to keep from panic buying. “Just reach out for help because it is about us looking out for each other, being kind, and remembering we are in this together.”

No babies have been hospitalized at Franciscan due to the shortage, a spokesperson from Franciscan Health said.


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