FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — The shortage in infant formula is causing mother’s across the country to worry.
Ariana McBride is a Maryland mom, her baby is only a few months old. She says she spent months trying different formulas and she’s finally found one her baby likes.
“We went through five formulas until we found the one that worked for him. And unfortunately with the shortage, it’s hard to come by,” said
According to Datasemly, more than 40% of baby formula is out of stock throughout the U.S. This comes after Abbott Nutrition, a major formula production plant in Michigan closed down in February because of supply chain issues due to the pandemic.
“It was terrifying to be honest with you because your child needs to eat and when you’re using formula to feed your child and you can’t find it, it’s scary,” said McBride.
She said she’s even driven out of Maryland to find formula her child needs.
“I’ ve traveled pretty far myself to find it. And like out of state, and I got it so as long as I can get my hands I’m good but it’s scary to think of the future. And you know, it’s a week by week you got to just keep finding it,” she said. “If there’s four I’ll take two and I’ll leave two and hope that and help somebody else”
The struggle to find formula gave McBride the idea to start a Facebook group called Formula Finders to help other moms find food for their babies.
“I realized there’s got to be other moms who are dealing with this too. So I made the Facebook group in hopes of connecting families and formula. So it’s working so far, we’re doing pretty good. I mean, there’s some that you just can’t find, no matter what you do,” she said.
The group grew overnight with moms from not just the DMV area but from all over the country. Mother’s are posting photos of formulas that are in stock in certain stores.
“I’m hearing stories from moms where they were giving their kids a Similac and they couldn’t get it so they switched to another brand and now they’re on brand number five. It’s totally crazy what I’m seeing,” she said. “I’m happy that the community is coming together and we’re able to connect. I don’t know what we’re going to do in the future and I hope that it stops,” she said.
McBride says she’s not happy that mothers are having to go through this.
“I’m happy to help them but I’m sad that this is where we’re at. It’s just sad. I feel good when I find the formula or I see someone post and then I’m able to connect them, but when there’s formula that I can’t find it really bothers me especially when it’s something where you know your child has to eat. These babies, a lot of them are under six months. So it’s not like there could be supplementation with different baby foods or anything like that. But it does feel good when I can do it. Yes, finally we did it.”
She’s hoping to see some change soon.
“I hope this gets resolved in some way or another because the factories need to open back up and make them basically babies need to eat and there are babies being born every day. And unfortunately, breastfeeding is not an option for every mother. We have to do something somewhere.”
Abbott is expected to reopen and restart formula production within the next week.