Homemade baby food can be dangerous. Experts share how to feed your baby despite the shortage – Boston News, Weather, Sports

(CNN) — Misinformation about how families can overcome infant formula shortages is fueling concern among pediatricians dr Tanya Altmann.

The California doctor has received calls, emails and social media messages — not just from her patients, but from families across the United States — along with photos of empty store shelves that once held infant formula.

parents say They’ve been to a dozen stores and checked a hundred websites and their baby’s infant formula, and they want to know what to do and if some of the so-called alternatives they’re hearing about are legitimate.

“It’s scary for these mothers and their babies, and it’s becoming a real problem,” Altmann said.

supply chain problems etc product recalls have triggered the nationwide shortage of infant formula. In early April, seven states reported between 40% and 50% of baby formula products were out of stock. Manufacturers have said they are producing at full capacity to produce as much as possible, but this week 43% of baby formula has sold out, according to a new report from Datasembly.

The US Food and Drug Administration is working with Abbott Nutrition to the company involved in the recent recallto safely resume production and find tools to support the delivery of infant formula, according to an FDA spokesman. But the Michigan facility is likely about two weeks away from coming back online pending FDA clearance, and it will likely be another six to eight weeks before products are back on shelves, according to the statements a statement from the company.

Some people turn to online caregiver communities for ideas on what to do when they can’t find their baby’s nutritional source. However, pediatricians are concerned about the health implications of some of the ideas posted online, Altmann and Dr. Steven Abrams. Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Texas at Austin and former Chairman of Committee on Nutrition of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

said the paediatricians There are ways to overcome the deficiency for many people, and it’s important to work with your pediatrician to address your infant’s unique needs. Here are answers to some of your questions about what’s safe and what’s not.

Can I make formula at home?


“There’s a lot of discussion about making your own formula at home and things like that, and I really want to avoid that as much as possible,” Abrams said.

Formulas are complex, and researchers have spent years developing the right ratio to give babies the nutrients they need, Altmann said.

Infant formula needs to be high in protein, fat, vitamins and minerals, many of which you cannot buy at the grocery store. And the balance for babies’ health and development needs to be precise, she added.

“You can see how difficult it would be to duplicate in your own kitchen,” she said.

Homemade formulas can result in a baby not getting the proper nutrition or upsetting his electrolytes’ balance, which can be dangerous, Altmann said. There have also been cases of bacterial contamination that can make the infants sick.

Can I extend my milk supply?


Adding other food sources or adding more water to the formula is tempting as you near the end of your last container of formula, but pediatricians said it’s not a good idea.

Families can begin introducing solid foods into an infant’s diet when the baby is around 4 to 6 months old, Altmann said. But these foods are not a nutritional substitute for infant formula at this age.

“Even when you start complementary feeding, breast milk or formula is still your baby’s primary source of nutrition,” Altmann said.

And adding extra water to stretch the formula you have can dilute the essential nutrient profile and lead to serious health issues and interfere with proper growth and development, she added.

“We are not irrational. If you can’t put anything in the baby’s mouth but cow’s milk, you will,” Abrams said. “But that’s not what we want people to do.”

Can I use infant formula or cow’s milk instead?


It really depends on how old your baby is and what your pediatrician says.

At least for the first six months, baby food is really important, Altmann said. But the closer they get to a year, the more flexible it can be.

“You can actually choose an infant formula at the point where you would normally want to wait until they’re exactly one year old,” Altmann said. “Always talk to your pediatrician first.”

“We advise against using cow’s milk up until the age of one, but it’s certainly true that you can use either this or formula once the baby is almost a year old, especially if formula simply isn’t available. ‘ Abrams said. “Neither is ideal, but as the year approaches, especially in the short term, these are alternatives.”

Can I buy international formulas online?


Altmann said there are some quality products from Europe and Australia that she likes that are available online. However, it’s important to make sure you’re ordering from reputable retailers.

She recommended buying from trusted pharmacies in the country where the formula originated and seeing how the formula’s nutrition compares to the FDA-approved formula.

“Not all international formulas are made equal, so you might want to make sure you know what you’re getting and that it’s a quality product,” she said.

But Abrams warns about imports, reminding families that imported formulas aren’t reviewed by the FDA.

“It’s a less than ideal alternative, but if they have to do this, then they have to do this,” he said.

The FDA advises against importing formula online because it could potentially be counterfeit, a spokesman said.

Can I change the formula brand?


“We want people to be as flexible as possible and make formula changes,” Abrams said.

It may take a few days for your baby to adjust to a new brand of formula, but for the most part, switching is fine, Altmann said. You can Find a good selection of formulas for your baby here.

However, it becomes more complicated in cases where a child is dependent on a particular formula due to an allergy or hypersensitivity.

“If your child has an allergy or sensitivity and has had a history of reaction to formulas, please consult your pediatrician before switching off as not all formulas are created equal,” Altmann said. “But in most cases there are other options that we can direct you to.”

The FDA allows Abbott Nutrition to clear the product according to the agency, on a case-by-case basis to some families in urgent need of specialty and metabolic formulas.

Can I resume my breast milk supply?

It’s complicated.

There have been instances where first-time parents can initiate lactation or resume lactation after choosing not to breastfeed, Altmann said. However, the process is complicated and will likely require the help of a lactation specialist.

There are also Banks where you can buy breast milk donated by other families. You can find milk banks in your area via the Human Milk Bank Association of North America.

The CNN Wire
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Nate Jones

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