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'It's scary because she's still so little' | Memphis area mothers stressing about baby formula shortage

More than 40% of all baby formulas are out of stock nationwide, and Mid-South pediatricians are offering suggestions on how to find formula easier.

MEMPHIS, Tennessee — ABC24 is offering solutions to a growing national crisis: baby formula is either extremely low or out of stock on store shelves. Some Memphis area mothers said the situation is so dire, they're crossing state lines to find formula.

We caught up with Morgan Darden, mother of nine-month-old Noa, who can't be breast fed and is allergic to cow's milk. That means she has to rely on powdered baby formula in very short supply.

"It's scary because she's still so little. She's only nine months, so she's not on solid foods right now. She still needs the formula to substitute for different vitamins," Darden said.

The mother is one of thousands in the Mid-South struggling and stressing about finding available baby formula. Darden is down to just a can and a half. 

"We are asking the store workers to go to the back to look for the formula. Sometimes it can make your heart drop a little bit," Darden added.

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More than 40% of baby formulas are out of stock nationwide, due to supply chain issues and the months-long closure of a major production plant. For Darden, it's an all hands on deck search.

"I've had a lot of help too - different people saying, I've checked this store, I've checked this store, we are looking online," Darden said.

Dr. Jason Yaun, a pediatrician at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital, suggested other options for parents to find formula. That includes checking smaller pharmacies instead of big box stores, purchasing online from reliable American sources, or asking the baby's pediatrician for a temporary sample.

"It may take some piecing together from different places, but as always your pediatrician is a great resource for that," Dr. Yaun said.

As for Darden, while she's worried for her own child, she's also thinking about other mothers.

"One time I went to the store and there was four cans left on the shelf. I bought three and left one because you think about other moms who may come behind you," Darden said.

The Michigan plant at the center of the formula shortage could begin production again soon. They're expected to have product back on shelves within two months. 

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