Formula shortage: Mom searches six stores only to leave empty-handed

Wynter Balthrop, a mother from Gallatin, Tennessee, spent Easter looking for baby formula.

Balthrop, 26, didn’t have a choice. Blakely, her 8-month-old daughter, consumes Enfamil Nutramigen and was down to her final scoop. Blakely, like many food-allergic newborns, can only accept hypoallergenic, lactose-free formula.

Balthrop and her husband, Tyler, visited six different stores, but the shelves were all empty. The EMS dispatcher recalls crying as she walked back to their truck.

Balthrop explained that they also phoned other states and cities. They were ready to go for three hours. But they couldn’t help them either since they were unavailable.

Balthrop burst into tears as it became clear that they would have to give Blakely a formula that would upset her tummy. Balthrop remarked that she simply lost it. It’s not appropriate that they have to give their kid something that will make her really unhappy. She thought why is it so difficult to find a formula?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 25% of newborns are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life, implying that millions of kids, including Blakely, rely on formula. However, 40 percent of the country’s infant formula is presently out of stock.

The formula shortfall was caused by supply-chain concerns, but it exacerbated after Abbott Nutrition, the nation’s largest infant formula maker, stopped its Michigan plant in the midst of a recall due to wellbeing concerns.

Some large shops have currently set limitations on how much formula customers may buy at a time. Balthrop revealed her ordeal in a tragic Facebook post– she doesn’t realize the anguish it causes them as parents, realizing they can’t feed their kid what she needs right now because it’s out of their control, Balthrop wrote in part.

She simply understands how much agony she is in and, despite the fact that it is beyond their control, it will NEVER EVER feel reasonable. No, it seems more like the largest mountain of despair and failure & one simply CAN’T spin it any other way to make it feel right.

Balthrop stated that family and friends were reaching out to provide assistance. She explained a number of aunts and uncles began phoning and saying, she is at the shop and they have everything she needs in stock and going to grab what the limit permits and send it to you. Fortunately, they have been able to accumulate a little quantity.

To some this just looks like a sparse shelf in another grocery store, but to me and other mamas I’m sure, it was a sight…

Posted by Wynter Balthrop on Sunday, 17 April 2022

Balthrop is now paying it forward. Blakely’s Blessings is a Facebook group she started to assist other worried parents locate formula.

Balthrop explained, one mother was attempting to get formula imported from Canada, but it would cost her $130 for a product that would ordinarily cost $40. This has been happening for quite a long time, and nobody knows when it will finish.

On Monday, US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf estimated that the Abbott Nutrition factory will reopen in two weeks. He did not indicate when the formula will be available again.

Califf added that by no means do they anticipate that to endure through the end of the year. They are taking a lot of steps, including mobilizing all factories, reopening the Sturgis facility, and importing a product meant for other nations. That is currently well underway. And, in fact, he anticipated making an announcement about that road ahead before the end of the day today.

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