Baby formula shortage rate jumps to 70%

Only a few scoops are left in her next to last can, as Yury Navas, 29, of Laurel, Md., feeds her infant son, Jose Ismael Gálvez, 2 months, with the only formula he can take without digestive issues, Enfamil Infant, from her dwindling supply of formula at their apartment in Laurel, Md., Monday, May 23, 2022. After this day's feedings she will be down to their last 12.5 ounce container of formula. Navas doesn't know why her breastmilk didn't come in for her third baby and has tried many brands of formula before finding the one kind that he could tolerate well, which she now says is practically impossible for her to find. To stretch her last can she will sometimes give the baby the water from cooking rice to sate his hunger. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Only a few scoops are left in her next to last can, as Yury Navas, 29, of Laurel, Md., feeds her infant son, Jose Ismael Gálvez, 2 months, with the only formula he can take without digestive issues, Enfamil Infant, from her dwindling supply of formula at their apartment in Laurel, Md., Monday, May 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

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UPDATED 8:59 AM PT – Wednesday, June 1, 2022

The baby formula out of stock rate has jumped to 70 percent. That’s according to recent retail data firm Datasembly, which found the national spike to be more extreme in certain cities and states for the week ending May 21.

As parents try and address the growing crisis, children with special needs or health issues who need certain formula to survive are more at risk. According to an exclusive report, 14-year-old Morgan Furhman has a rare genetic disorder and needs a specialized formula.

“Because of her disorder, her life expectancy isn’t what a typical person would be,” explained the teen’s mother, Kathy Furhman. “If the formula, if that was the reason, I don’t think I could ever forgive myself.”

As the shortage worsens, some parents are feeling responsible. While the US is working to get more baby formula back on shelves, some practitioners are blaming the shortage on a drop in breast feeding rates, which is a problem they said increased during the pandemic.

The longer the crisis persists, however, the more parents are searching for different alternatives to feed their children. Some have even tried making their own formula at home.

“It doesn’t take much to make a baby become very sick,” warned Jessica Smith, Pediatrician at Mercy Clinic Pediatrics. “Can have seizures, not get the calories they need and end up in the hospital, so it is not safe to make your own formula at home. I would not even use your grandmother’s recipe.

Meanwhile, FDA Commissioner, Robert Califf believes the shortage may be over within a few months.

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