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Pregnancy Helpline Sturgis Mi – White House moves to end infant formula shortage; Press secretary Jane Psaki said it was uncertain when the relief would reach parents.

A national shortage of baby formula has emptied shelves across the United States. In the United States, including Arizona, some grocery stores and pharmacies limit formula purchases to five items per customer.

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Pregnancy Helpline Sturgis Mi

Kaitie Jacobsen, a first-time mom from Tempe, said she drives all day to find formula for her 3-month-old son.

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She found happiness with the grocery delivery app Instacart, but said she worried about how she would feed her son.

“I wish people would stop comparing it to the toilet paper shortage. It minimizes the problem moms face. It’s not about wiping your booty, it’s about feeding your baby. For most babies under 6 months, that can be theirs,” Jacobson said. said

Dr. Gary Kirkilas, a pediatrician at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, said he has been questioning the issue since February, when a combination of problems with a voluntary product recall made it difficult to find formula. By now there was a shortage and they were supplied. Retail outlets are very few.

Kirkilas, who is in charge of the mobile health unit at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, said he can’t recover from the kind of infant formula shortages new parents face.

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The Maricopa County Department of Public Health’s Women, Infants and Children’s Program receives 150 to 200 calls a day about formula shortages, program manager Carrie Zavala said.

Funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, the program serves low-income women and children. Women who serve it are pregnant, breastfeeding or have completed their pregnancy in the last six months

“It’s definitely an all-day, every-day situation, and we’re helping families one by one trying to figure out what formula to give them,” Zavala said.

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Complicating the situation for WIC enrollees in Arizona is that families must receive formula made by Abbott Laboratories, the maker of the Similac formula that was recalled in February, the program says.

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“Because Abbott WIC was so much of the contract (infant) formula, now we’re giving WIC clients formula they’ve never bought before,” Zavala said. “Now they’re competing with the remaining customers who aren’t on WIC for other brands.”

Hundreds of mothers have turned to social media for help finding formula, joining Facebook groups designed to help parents in need.

Dozens of moms in the “Arizona Baby Formula BST” group post multiple daily updates on where and when formula is available.

Comments on the 430-member public group show moms sharing stories of mad dashes to stores across the Valley to secure specific brand-name formulas for their babies. Some say they drove for hours to different stores.

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In some cases, mothers buy formula they find in hopes of trading it online for their own needs.

Sometimes the post is a mom in dire need, notes how many bottles of formula she has and asks if someone can help.

Mother-of-four Dani May Kord says she can’t count the number of stores left in tears because they couldn’t find formula for her youngest.

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“I’m just going to say that if you can, you should try to BF (breastfeed) as long as possible. This formula deficiency is no joke. It’s honestly absolutely devastating,” she wrote.

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A common question for families is how to decide what type of formula to give their baby if they don’t have a regular brand. Kirkilas assures them that in most cases this is fine.

“As long as their baby doesn’t have digestive issues that require them to be on a special formula, it’s fine to switch to formula,” she said.

“Let’s say you were on Similac and the store only had Enfamil, it’s totally fine to decide on the type of formula. Formula tastes different, so sometimes we think babies won’t like the new formula. But it’s fine in the short term. .”

But she cautions families against making their own formula at home and watering down existing formula supplies to make it last longer.

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If possible, she advises people who have children now or in the near future if that’s an option.

“For moms who are just giving birth, if they haven’t already, I would strongly consider breastfeeding,” Kirkilas says. “We have less fussiness, less spit-up and less constipation in breastfed babies. So if parents are open to breastfeeding, I recommend it.”

The shortage is an unfortunate combination of supply chain issues and voluntary product recalls. Illegal activities and hoarding may also occur.

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On February 17, the US Food and Drug Administration warned consumers not to use certain powdered infant formula products from Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis, Michigan, facility, and Abbott initiated a voluntary recall of some products.

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Since then, the company has been working with Abbott and other manufacturers to bring safe formula products to the United States.

Before the Abbott Nutrition facility was pulled, the FDA was already working to address supply chain issues related to the pandemic, including those affecting the infant formula industry, federal officials said.

In a letter Thursday to Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Lena Khan, President Joe Biden said the commission would “actively monitor the small formula market” and use all available tools and authorities to “address any illegal behavior that may contribute to the shortage.” To toughen up and learn whether rural or small retailers are at a disadvantage.”

Biden wrote that any price increase due to infant formula shortages is “unacceptable.” He asked the commission to investigate allegations of such activities.

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“We know that the Attorney General is investigating this matter and can be a valuable partner in this effort,” he wrote.

Participants in the Arizona Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) can call WIC if a store does not have formula for their use. They can buy it then and there because they can update their benefits, Maricopa County Public Health Department officials wrote in an email Thursday.

Health officials advise WIC recipients to contact their local WIC program or the state-run Arizona WICShoppers Helpline at 866-927-8390.

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Zavala, WIC manager for the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, said that since every Similac product has been taken off the shelves since the Abbott recall in February, the WIC program has begun to offer flexibility to purchase other brands.

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“It’s difficult because their benefits are very specific,” Zavala said. “When they come into the store, we change their facility to something we think they can find, but if their specific facility isn’t in the store, they have to call us.”

“If the child has digestive issues, when they’re on a very specific formula, it’s best to talk to the pediatrician about discontinuing that formula,” Kirkilas says. “Some children have digestive problems, such as lactose intolerance … but in general, children can switch to another formula.”

If the only formula available is gluten-free and your baby isn’t gluten-intolerant, gluten-free formula will be fine for a while, Kirkilas says.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says switching formulas is fine for most babies unless the baby is on a specific, extensively hydrolyzed amino acid-based formula like Elecare.

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Angie Rogers, president and CEO of the Arizona Food Bank Network, said food banks typically don’t stock baby formula as a regular item, but occasionally may have donated supplies.

“There are some places, like food banks attached to health centers, that tend to stock up on a regular basis,” Rogers said.

But food banks in Arizona are hoping to buy some baby formula products to help offset the current formula shortage, she added.

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“We’re just aware of the need to be there, and we’re looking at our options,” he said. “I’m talking to WIC and our partners who serve mostly pregnant women and young children to see what options we have.”

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If you find traces, buy what you need, don’t panic, buy, Maricopa County Public Health Department officials said. Buying in bulk makes it difficult for other families to get what they need.

“My parents said the places they usually go don’t have it,” says Dr. Kirkilas, MD, a pediatrician at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. “If the parents are interested online, they can buy their formula online.”

For example, on Thursday, Amazon, Walmart and Venus all had baby formula for online shopping, according to a midday search.

Arizonans enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, can use those benefits to purchase formula, and they can do so online through an authorized retailer.

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