Current supply-chain issues and voluntary formula recalls are causing quite a shortage in formulas. New moms are posting all over Facebook in groups asking where to find any formula. When there is any available at a particular store, one mom will post to her fellow, formula-feeding moms that she's ready to stock up and deliver. Moms are banding together to donate milk, donate extra jars of formula and scout stores to ensure babies are getting fed.
Even with moms working together, there are still many mamas in urgent situations needing a formula alternative. Here are some safe alternatives if you find yourself in an urgent situation. Maybe your formula is on the way, and you have a gap of 1-2 weeks, or maybe you've ordered from Europe, and it can be weeks before your formula arrives. Not to mention possibly being stuck in customs. You could also be working on your milk supply and trying to relactate, which is a great idea, but it takes time to re-establish your milk supply.
HOW TO SWITCH BACK TO BREASTFEEDING FROM FORMULA FEEDING
SAFE BABY FORMULA ALTERNATIVES YOU CAN USE TODAY:
Toddler formula is made for babies over 12 months. The nutritional compound is such that it assumes the toddler is also eating solid foods. It is not ideal for infants, but if they are closer to a year, it something that is safe in the short term, while you are waiting for a better formula to arrive.
Full-term Premature Baby Formula:
This formula may be difficult to find as well, but it is less common, and is a good alternative to your regular formulas. These preamture formulas are created for babies who have some catch up growth to do, but will be safe for a few weeks if needed for your baby.
Whole Cow's Milk:
If your baby is older than 6 months, your best choice may be whole cow's milk for a short period of time as an aternative formula. This is assuming your baby doesn't have any allergies, and it is a good alternative as you wait for formula to become available. If you do use cow's milk, check with your pediatrician about iron supplementation. Depending on how old your baby is, and if they are eating solid foods, your pediatrician may want to give you an iron supplement during this time. Cow's milk is generally used only after a baby is over 1 year of age. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that "During the current baby formula shortage, it may be OK for some babies over 6 months of age to have cow’s milk for a short period of time if no formula is available. If you aren’t able to find baby formula in stock anywhere, talk with your pediatrician and read more here." The nation wide baby formula shortage is causing many new parents to research homemade formula recipes, when simply cow milk may be the best choice.
Donor Breast Milk:
Your pediatrician can perscribe donor milk depending on the situation, or you can find a Milk Bank near you through the Human Milk Banking Association of America. The process is very simple, and you want to find the location closest to you, and call that location directly. They will hopefully have immediate solutions for you.
Ask yourSocial Media Groups:
This is a fast and easy to way to find extra formula or breast milk. We've seen so many mamas sharing their extra formula stashes and asking if anyone needs extra breast milk. The breast milk, if you have a good friend who you trust could be a great option to get you through. Someone may also have a formula your baby can tolerate for some time. Don't be afraid to ask for help wherever you can because moms love to help other moms.
Increase or Restart Your Milk Supply:
If you are supplementing with formula and breastmilk, you can increase your breastmilk supply immediately to satisfy baby. We have an in-depth guide on how to do this from a lactation consultant. You can also restart your milk supply, even if you haven't breastfed in months. Read this full guide on how to do that as well. Breastmilk is an amazing option for you baby if you can make it work.
It is really important to nourish yourself properly when attempting to increase or restart your supply. Milk Dust is specially formulated fo increasing milk supply.
What about plant-based milks or goat milk?
Whole milk from cows is typically the only milk recommended for use by the AAP in the United States. Some other countries have formula derived from goat's milk, which could be a good option for your baby if they have a dairy allergy. Goat milk only is generally not recommended as a substitute for formula. Plant-based milks like almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, rice milk and hemp milk are not considered good alternatives for regular formula during the infant formula shortage because they typically don't offer many nutrients for brain development, vitamin D, or essential amino acid and vitamin B12. Basically, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not recommend milk alternatives from plants (in addition to coconut milk) as a substitute for formula because there isn't enough fat content or nutrition for infant feeding.
Should you try to make your own formula?
The burning question for many moms is whether or not to try and make your own baby formula. The Center for Disease Control in addition to the FDA and other medical groups advise strongly against making your own formula at home. A home-made alternative formula needs to have so many different nutrients for a growing baby, that is is very difficult to create a healthy type of formula at home. According to Today, "The biggest issue, though, is that babies have very specific nutritional needs that breast milk and formula are designed to meet. “Formula has a certain proportional quantity and percentage of proteins, carbohydrates and fats that are digestible and tolerable for infants,” Vernovsky, a Pediatrician, tells TODAY Parents. “[It also has important] vitamins and electrolytes like sodium, potassium and chloride.”
Without those minerals, babies could potentially risk problems like seizures or brain swelling, Vernovsky says."
HOW DOES MILK DUST SUPPORT MILK SUPPLY AND RELACTATION?
Milk Dust has been helping new moms increase their milk supply for over 3 years. It offers very carefully chosen nutrients that support lactation from a nutritional approach. Many new moms struggle to increase supply when just eating cookies or drinking teas because those don't offer the powerful superfoods, antioxidants and vitamins that Milk Dust offers. Milk Dust has a propietary, patent-pending blend of herbs and ingredients proven to increase lactation. There is no other hollistic product on the market that tastes amazing, helps with breastfeeding sugar cravings, and supports milk supply. Milk Dust is manufactured here in the US and reviewed by medical professionals to ensure the safety for breastfeeding mamas.
SHOULD I LOOK FOR IMPORTED FORMULA?
Imported formula can be a great place to find some amazing formulas, but the AAP has voiced concern due to regulation issues. There are also labeling and FDA regulations that are monitored by the country the formula comes from, so there could be discrepencies. US FDA-regulated formulas are the safest, but there are some good alternatives in other countries. Be aware that in Europe, there are two age ranges for formula, so ensure you choose the right one. Do extensive research for that country and formula ingredients.
TRY CANADA FOR YOUR FORMULA CHOICE:
Canada may have more of the formula you are looking for. If you find the same brand and kind, the regulation issues are less of a con. Canada often has stricter regulations than the US, so if your formula is available in Canada, you can order there knowing it is most likely high-quality and safe for baby. Do your research, and consult with your pediatrician just to make sure.
Remember that The AAP recommends breastmilk for a baby's sole source of nutrition for about the first 6 months—and continued breastfeeding after starting solid foods for a year or more, as long as mother and baby desire. This is the ideal for baby according to medical professionals, so if there is a way to increase your milk supply, or relactate, now could be the chance to try again.
If breastfeeding is just not possible, and has caused too much stress for you and your baby, hopefully the above formula alternatives will help relieve some stress during the formula shortage.