baby formula shortage

Conn. Parents Hunt for Baby Formula Amid Shortages

"We're on a scavenger hunt for formula,” said Xylia DiBianco, a mom from Berlin.

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Parents in Connecticut have been scrambling to find baby formula for their children after a nationwide shortage has led to supply issues.

In February, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control announced an investigation into infant illnesses associated with Abbott Nutrition formulas.

Since then, Abbott Nutrition voluntarily recalled select batches of formula, including Similac Alimentum.

Similac Alimentum was the formula Xylia DiBanco, of Berlin, said her 5-month-old son Maverick was using since birth. He was five weeks premature and the NICU initially put him on it.

“It was scary. I mean, babies are dying. That's awful. That's heartbreaking. And you know, you trust the formula. You're supposed to trust these companies to make sure they're giving you the best for your baby. It was scary, you know. You look at your baby, like every sign. Is he spitting up too much? Is this part of it? You start freaking out that maybe he had the contaminated formula,” said DiBianco.

DiBianco has since switched brands from Similac Alimentum to Enfamil Nutramigen, but now finding that has been a struggle.

She has been finding empty store shelves and is having a hard time getting formula online.

“I just looked actually this morning. And [the Target in] Milford is in stock. I live in Berlin, so I'm going to have to drive to Milford to get it. It's a lot. You know, I work, I have a baby and we're on a scavenger hunt for formula,” DiBianco said.

DiBianco said she has one can of formula left and her son goes through that in one week.

“I've been to Branford to get formula, we've called multiple CVS stores, we call Walgreens, we call Stop & Shops. It's you know, you just call around to try to find it like ‘Hey, do you have this? And most of them, they don't,” said DiBianco.

Nicole Cassetta, a mom of two from Berlin, has also been struggling to find formula. The formula her 8-month-old son Michael has been using was thankfully not recalled, but she said she has been having a harder time finding formula now than she did two years ago when she was searching for formula for her daughter during the height of the pandemic.

If Cassetta can’t find more, she’ll likely have to switch to a different formula, which is a concern.

“It really depends on the child, but he's on a formula where the proteins are broken down a little bit more because our daughter had allergies. So that was what was advised by our pediatrician. So, it may upset him because it's such a broken-down formula. So hopefully, you know, he won't have any issues with his tummy or fussiness and stuff like that,” said Cassetta.

A new report from ‘Datasembly’ found that 30% of baby formula is sold out nationwide. The group says supply chain shortages, recalls and inflation all contributed to the problem.

If you are parent and must switch baby formulas, it is best to consult your child’s pediatrician for guidance.

For the time being, parents hope this shortage ends sooner rather than later.

“I just hope that there can be more formulas soon for the moms because it's very stressful,” said Cassetta.

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