Nashville mom looks for solutions to formula shortage

Pediatric doctors here at the Monroe Carell Junior Children's Hospital tell say they are out of baby formula and are also having issues finding more.
Published: May. 4, 2022 at 11:04 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Pediatric doctors at Monroe Carell Junior Children’s Hospital said they are out of baby formula and are also having issues finding more. Some mothers say they do not know where their child’s next meal will come from.

At seven months old, Izabella Phillips is known for her constant smile. According to her mother, her grin lights up the whole world. A world now consumed by one big issue.

“There is just nothing. Nothing on Amazon, Instacart, I mean nothing,” Phillips said.

Phillips is talking about baby formula. Doctors say supply chain issues and FDA recalls have created a major shortage nationwide, leaving mothers like Phillips suffering the effects.

“When you walk into the store and you look at the shelves, I mean it, it makes me sick to my stomach.”

After looking through dozens of stores for weeks, Phillips says she’s found nothing and is down to her last can.

“I get really emotional about it and I’m stressing because I don’t know how she’s going to eat,” said Phillips.

As the situation worsens, some mothers are even turning to homemade formula.

“My stepmom actually just said try looking at recipes from the ‘60s and stuff like that,” said Phillips.

Joseph Gigante, Doctor of Pediatrics at Monroe Carell Junior Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, said those recipes could be deadly.

“The worry or fear that I have with homemade formulas is that the child may not get all of the nutritional content that they need in a regular formula so that could potentially be very dangerous,” Gigante said.

With very little options in sight, Gigante suggests asking pediatricians for sample formulas and trying any other avenue to get their hands on can.

“This might be a time to reach out to friends and family members and put a plea out on social media,” Gigante said.

Phillips and other several other mothers are already doing.

“I beg for breastmilk from a lactose and soy-free mom. I mean that’s how desperate I am right now because I don’t know what I will do if my kid doesn’t eat,” Phillips said.

Philips says she’s just praying and hoping things get better.

“I wish I could help other moms, but I am sinking just as bad as everybody else,” said Phillips.

Right now, doctors are also advising people to not stock up on formula because they could be making the situation worse.

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