The formula shortage is something I never thought I would see. I can only imagine the stress families are under when there might not be enough food available for their baby. So, what is a family to do? If you scroll through social media, you may find some very unhelpful suggestions like, “just breastfeed,” or “I grew up on evaporated milk and Karo syrup and I’m just fine.”
Here are a few don’ts that might help.
- If you find formula on the shelves, don’t purchase every can! Do you remember what the hoarding of toilet paper did at the beginning of the pandemic?
- Don’t dilute the formula to make it last longer.
- Don’t try making your own formula.
- Don’t use cow’s milk or goat’s milk for babies under one.
So, what can you do?
- Ask your pediatrician if it’s ok to switch to a brand that’s available.
- Contact a milk bank and ask if they’re selling milk to individuals.
- Milk sharing is an option, but there are some risks.
- Is the donor using good hygiene when collecting the milk?
- Is the donor following proper storing guidelines?
- Do you know the donor’s medical history? Are they free from diseases that can be transmitted through the milk? There are three:
- CMV (Cytomegalovirus)
- HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Viruses)
- HTLV-1 (human T-lymphotropic virus type 1)
4. Using guidelines for home pasteurization of donated milk by using the flash heating method can remove harmful bacteria and viruses. Here are the steps:
What else can we do as a community?
- Inform families about safe options.
- Encourage all pregnant families to breastfeed or express their milk.