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'How am I going to help my son to grow?' | Parents struggle to find baby formula amid shortage

The Biden Administration met with major manufacturers on Thursday to try and speed up production and get more products on shelves.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Millions of parents are still panicking over how they’ll feed their babies as the formula shortage continues.

The Biden Administration met with major manufacturers on Thursday to try and speed up production and get more products on shelves.

In the meantime, parents are turning to other avenues to make sure their baby is eating enough.

Parents are desperate, and with formula hard to find on store shelves, demand is skyrocketing for breast milk from a donor or bank.

"Nutrition is important to all of us during a lifetime but especially for babies during the first three years of life when they are growing so rapidly and they’re experiencing brain growth," Laura Corsig with Novant Health said. 

RELATED: Baby formula shortage prompts questions, claims about what's safe for infants

Store shelves have been wiped clean of formula after ongoing supply chain delays. It got worse after a voluntary recall by manufacturer Abbott Nutrition, prompting a shut down of its plant where many specialty formula brands are made. 

Now parents are feeling the pressure.

“I walked out, and I thought I was going to cry because I just kept thinking to myself how am I going to help my son to grow," Lindsay Kennedy, a Charlotte mom, said. 

Many are now forced to find different ways to feed their baby as demand is skyrocketing at breast milk banks.

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Jayme Diehl is kind of running one of her own.

RELATED: Baby formula shortage: Experts say don't dilute or DIY

“I was looking on Facebook yesterday and seeing all of these posts and I was like I can help a little bit," Diehl said. 

She’s built up a stash of breastmilk.

Her 9-month-old, Oliver, is still breastfeeding and she hasn’t had to dip into it. The milk will go bad in a few months, so she posted on Facebook to see if any moms could use the supply.

 
So far two moms have taken her up on it.

“Her baby was in the NICU for a few days too so we had that connection, I’m just excited that it can help her," Diehl exclaimed. 

There are pages on Facebook where moms can connect directly with each other, but there’s also a donor milk bank in Raleigh that works with our local hospital systems.

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Doctors say the best thing to do if you’re struggling to find formula is to talk to your pediatrician.

RELATED: What caused the baby formula shortage, and what's next?

WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE USING DONOR MILK

*Information via the CDC

  • Consult a healthcare provider first 
  • Consider the possible safety risks
  • FDA recommends against feeding your baby breast milk acquired directly from individuals or through the Internet
  • FDA recommends that if, after consultation with a healthcare provider, you decide to feed a baby with human milk from a source other than the baby’s mother, you should only use milk from a source that has screened its milk donors and taken other precautions to ensure the safety of its milk.

Contact Chloe Leshner at cleshner@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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