ROANOKE, Va. – As the nationwide baby formula shortage drags on, lactation consultant Katherine Havener said more moms are seeking her help.
“There is no worse fear than not knowing what to feed your baby and not being able to feed your baby,” said Havener, who works with Star Lactation. “There’s definitely an urgency for the clients I see to make [breastfeeding] work because they know [baby formula] is hard to find. And they go and they see the grocery shelves and they know that having a backup plan that they used to have, it’s a little bit harder now.”
Fueled by labor shortages and supply chain issues during the pandemic, matters were only made worse after the specific powered baby formula was recalled.
At LewisGale Medical Center, the healthcare system has a supply chain team devoted to securing baby formula directly from manufacturers. Maternity Care Services Director Lisa Wade said they’re fully stocked.
“I actually have not heard any of the moms asking any questions about the formula shortage, as far as we are concerned, because they know we’re going to do whatever it takes to make sure that they have what they need to feed their babies,” said Wade.
Carilion Clinic said new moms at the hospital don’t need to worry.
In a statement to 10 News, the senior director of Carilion Children’s, Alicia McAllister-Daniels, writes:
“Our NICU team continues to monitor the shortage, and we’ve been fortunate to have no disruption to our services. We know this is a top concern for parents and encourage them to reach out to their pediatrician with any questions. There is support available to help you navigate the current shortage.”
The White House now promising to step in.
“We’re seeing increases over the last couple of weeks. More needs to be done. We’re going to cut every element of red tape we can cut. We’re going to work with manufacturers. We’re going to import more to expedite this as quickly as possible,” said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
While the supply is still uncertain, experts say parents need to plan ahead and don’t be afraid to ask their pediatrician for help and advice on safe alternatives.
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin released a statement as well, saying he’s doing everything he can to combat the shortage.
You can read his full statement below:
“My administration remains engaged with industry leaders on their production capabilities, and the Virginia Department of Heath is working to ensure that there are adequate supplies of baby formula state-wide. Additionally, my administration has asked the FDA to utilize all resources to get the U.S. plant back into production as quickly as possible. Simply put, acquiring baby formula shouldn’t be a challenge in the United States.”