ARLINGTON, Tenn. — After Monday's announcement about the increase in baby formula, parents may be feeling some relief, knowing more resources could be on the way. However, it's likely going to take months before that happens.
“They’re terrified because they can’t feed their babies," Family Nurse Practitioner Lisa Powell with the Pediatric Clinic said.
It’s a feeling mid-south parents are familiar with as they struggle to feed their children in the middle of a formula shortage.
“I had a mom (Monday) morning. I asked how she was doing on formula and she said they were starting to have trouble,” Powell said.
It's the same case for many mothers. The empty shelves have caused them to turn to each other for help by creating Facebook groups to share advice on how to get through this shortage.
“I kind of wish there was a place that people could send formulas because right now, you’ll see a post on Facebook that says, ‘Hey, I’ve got x number amount of cans of formula. Come get it on my porch,'” Powell explained.
But she stated that she wants to make sure parents are aware of what they should and should not do to keep their babies healthy. We asked if it's OK to share formula.
“Unless it is a reliable source, a family, a friend … I wouldn’t use anything that has been opened from someone I didn’t know,” Powell said.
She added that making your own formula isn't safe since it doesn't have amino acids, which are important for a baby’s brain. However, Powell said you can share breast milk with those you know and trust.
“You still want to have them tested for HIV and hepatitis. That can be done privately and secretly," Powell said. "Back in the old days, there were people who did nothing, but breastfeed for the families, so it is a thing to do.”
For those who find it hard to nurse, Dr. Powell suggested reaching out to a lactation consultant for guidance and encouragement to help with the breastfeeding process.