What Nebraskans should and should not do when looking for baby formula

(WOWT)
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 10:55 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - When it comes to searching for a solution to the baby formula shortage, the internet can be either good or bad. There is a great deal of dangerous misinformation for those desperately searching.

“There’s a lot of stuff floating around out there that’s definitely like, oooh,” said mother of two Karla Sargent. “It’s probably not the best, but I get it, some people are thinking well, what else do you do?”

For starters, do what Karla did. The Lincoln mom was having a hard time finding the formula she needs for her two-month-old, so she created the Facebook group Nebraska Formula Finder. It started with a few friends and has grown to around 400 from across the state.

“A lot of times what people are doing (in the group), they say ‘hey, I have a sample can of this and I can’t use it for my baby, I’d like to give it to somebody.’ We can do (things) like that, and some people are posting, taking a picture of the shelves in the grocery store and saying what day and time they’ve been there, and the kinds of things that they’re seeing.”

There are websites like nowinstock, zoolert, and hotstock that search online retailers for product availability and can text you when they locate what you’re looking for.

”The fact is, though, there is formula available in Omaha,” said UNMC’s Ann Anderson Berry, MD, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Child Health Research Institute in Omaha. “So we just have to be smart about how we use it. Number one, buy what you’re gonna use. Please don’t hoard it. If you’re hoarding, you’re preventing other families from feeding their babies today and tomorrow.”

Dr. Anderson said wherever you live in Nebraska, it’s a good idea to try small, local stores. And if your baby has normal dietary needs, be flexible.

“There are alternatives,” she said. “Your baby might be happiest eating one name brand, but there are other brands that are acceptable, and don’t stress out too much, over having to change brands.”

Anderson’s team at UNMC compiled some critical information for families wondering what they should and should not do if they find themselves without formula.

“Some of the formulas, recipes that are going around on the internet, are simply not safe.”

What If I can't find the formula I need for my baby? These are some "dos" and "don'ts" provided...
What If I can't find the formula I need for my baby? These are some "dos" and "don'ts" provided by Melissa Thoene, Ph.D., UNMC(UNMC)
What If I can't find the formula I need for my baby? These are some "dos" and "don'ts" provided...
What If I can't find the formula I need for my baby? These are some "dos" and "don'ts" provided by Melissa Thoene, Ph.D., UNMC(UNMC)

“Some of those are as simple as, ‘Well I’ll just dilute the formula more,’” she warns. “That’s a serious, serious health mistake. You can get very low sodium and babies can have brain damage and seize with under-fortified formula.”

Anderson said when in doubt, call your pediatrician first. They know your child’s history.

She said they have access to information and resources available, including the Nebraska Perinatal Quality Improvement Collaborative and the Nebraska chapter of the American Academy of Pediatric Sciences.

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