SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Local parents in Shreveport-Bossier are struggling as a nationwide baby formula shortage has left mothers scrambling to get their babies proper nutrition.
“I have not been able to find formula in at least two or three months,” says Victoria Cox, the mother of an eight-month-old baby girl.
Two days ago Cox pleaded for help on her Facebook page, saying she has been looking everywhere for baby formulas so she can feed her daughter. She says she can’t find her brand and the shortage makes her wish there were another option.
“I honestly wished I would have breastfed, but it’s really hard.”
She couldn’t produce enough breast milk and had to rely on formula. Now that option also feels far out of reach, and she isn’t alone.
“It’s scary to think like, ‘Oh my God, is my baby going to starve?’ or, ‘What if something happened and we don’t have the money to go get him, you know, enough cans to last him’,” says another mother, Jasmine Carr.
Carr is the first time parent of a four-month-old baby boy. She says it is mentally exhausting but is thankful she has enough baby formula to last her for the next two months. But she worries if it will be enough to make it through the shortage.
“The way these months are going by, it’s flying by, and my baby can get eat a lot. So, it’s like he’s going to go through these cans.”
She says she hopes this ends soon. This ongoing shortage has left mothers scrambling to find enough formula to keep their children fed.
Although supplies are difficult to find, a local doctor is urging parents not to hoard baby formula during the national shortage.
Doctor Wanda Thomas is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at LSU Health Shreveport. She says within the first six months of a baby’s life breast milk and baby formula are a baby’s primary nutrition.
Suggestions online have ranged from homemade recipes to thinning the formula. However, Thomas says it is never a good idea to water down baby formula as it can cause a series of health problems.
“We see babies who come in dehydrated. We see babies who come in having seizures; having low blood sugar. All of those are consequences of inadequate formula in hydration.”
Thomas says the shortage could last another three months.