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Baby Formula Shortage

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Baby Formula Shortage

In Iowa and nationwide, infant formula is in short supply. The Iowa Departments of Public Health and Human Services are working to provide information and resources to Iowans who are impacted by the shortage.

Supply chain constraints have been affecting product availability since January. The formula recall issued in February and closure of the Abbott production facility in Michigan has exacerbated this issue. Given those constraints, we encourage Iowans to purchase what they need for the short term. This will ensure that all Iowans are able to access what they need, given the limited supply we are seeing nationwide.

The FDA is responsible for taking steps to ensure the safety of infant formula while also ensuring that supply can be met when these steps are taken. Yesterday, the FDA published a press release highlighting actions it is taking to address formula supply shortages including working with major infant formula manufacturers to increase supply and helping to ensure that Abbott’s Sturgis facility can safely resume production.

“As formula challenges persist, parents are encouraged to work with their healthcare provider for recommendations on how to feed their baby if their regular formula is not available,” said Lori Hoch, Public Health Director. “The most significant infant formula shortage at this time is the specialty formulas prescribed and prepared/distributed from pharmacies. Please do not hoard formula and be prepared to shop for formula more frequently so everyone has an opportunity to purchase essential infant nutrition. Parents may consider using alternative name brand formula as guided by their physician.”

Infant formula has specific nutrients in infant formula that help an infant meet their individual nutritional needs. “Health and safety concerns related to homemade formula include contamination and absence of or inadequate amounts of critical nutrients,” said Hoch. “These problems are very serious and consequences range from severe nutritional imbalances to foodborne illnesses. For these reasons, it is strongly recommended that parents and caregivers do not feed their infant homemade formula, dilute formula, or switch to cow’s milk prematurely. Instead, reach out to your infant’s healthcare provider for guidance on how to meet your infant’s nutritional needs if you are unable to access your child’s regular formula.”