NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Pediatric doctors at the Monroe Carell Junior Children’s Hospital in Nashville said they are out of baby formula and are also having issues finding more amid a nationwide shortage. Some mothers said 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 Melissa Phillips, her grin lights up the whole world.
Like many parents, Phillips is struggling to find baby formula.
“There is just nothing. Nothing on Amazon, Instacart, I mean nothing,” Phillips said.
Doctors said 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,” she said.
After looking through dozens of stores for weeks, Phillips said 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,” Phillips said.
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,” she said.
Doctor of Pediatrics at Monroe Carell Junior Joseph Gigante said those recipes could be dangerous.
“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 few options in sight, Gigante suggested 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 several other mothers are already doing that, but it can be difficult for babies with specific allergies and needs.
“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 said 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,” she said.
Right now, doctors are also advising parents to only buy a reasonable amount of formula when they find some and not to hoard because they could be making the shortage and supply chain issues worse.