Can’t find baby formula? Omaha area experts share DOs & DON’Ts

Formula is critical to keeping babies healthy but it's getting harder and harder to find.
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 10:26 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Mothers in need of formula for their babies can usually turn to Catholic Charities of Omaha.

“We used to always have formula. It wasn’t a concern. If a mother needed formula, we had formula and we had different brands and different kinds,” said Mikaela Schuele, Catholic Charities Emergency & Supportive Food Services Director.

That’s no longer the case. The formula shortage is now impacting resources in the metro.

The team here says they are having to turn mothers in need of formula away each week.

“We have maybe a couple of cans on the shelf and that’s it and when those are gone, which they will be gone in the morning, then they are gone. Then we just don’t have anything,” said Schuele.

CHI Health Primary Care Director Dr. Michael Schooff says he’s getting calls from mothers worried about how they can keep feeding their babies.

He says the first thing you should do is call your baby’s doctor.

“Sometimes, to a limited degree, we have access to some samples that the formula companies have given to us or we may be able to guide you in some other directions that way,” said Dr. Schooff.

Dr. Schooff says you can search online for formula options but he says be careful and do your research before you buy.

He says don’t try to make your own formula. He says those recipes don’t have the exact measurements for what your baby needs.

He’s also urging parents not to water down the formula.

“There’s some very careful things about the number of nutrients, about the balance between the proteins and the water and the formula that are very important for babies and their digestive system so don’t water down the formula to make it last longer.”

While it may be difficult to find resources to help you find baby formula right now—doctors at Children’s Hospital say they stay in close contact with formula companies and there could be relief in sight.

“My formula reps assure me that right now production of both Similac and Enfamil products, as well as all of the other generic brands, should be getting more on track and able to sustain supply for all of the babies who are formula-fed in areas near us so, I’m hopeful that this is a temporary problem,” said Dr. Rachel Schlueter, Children’s West Village Pointe Pediatrician.

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