The Biden Administration Just Took a Huge Step to Address the Baby Formula Shortage

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  • Many parents have struggled to secure baby formula in recent months.
  • Now, the Biden administration is stepping in to help with a large shipment set to arrive in the U.S. on June 16.
  • Until supply chain issues level out, parents should look to pediatricians and friends to help find the baby formula they need.

Parents might soon be able to breathe a sigh of relief.

For several months, parents of infants have been struggling to get their hands on enough baby formula to feed their children. The problem has gotten so bad that many parents have been forced to make desperate pleas on social media in an effort to get the formula they need. And some have had to switch formulas altogether, which isn't ideal.

But now, the Biden administration is arranging for a massive shipment of formula from Switzerland that's set to arrive on June 16. The shipment is estimated to contain more than 44,000 pounds of Nestlé Health Science Alfamino and Alfamino Junior specialty formula. That supply will then be available through a distribution network that includes hospitals, home health companies, and WIC programs.

Parents could be in for another month of anguish

While this step on the part of the Biden administration might help ease the formula crunch, it could take until mid-July for supply chains to catch up to parents' needs. And so those who rely on baby formula may be in for another month of scrambling.

Making matters worse is that scammers have been targeting desperate parents in search of formula to feed their babies. Criminals have gone as far as to set up bogus e-commerce sites advertising formula that they don't actually have.

In fact, parents in search of formula should really do whatever they can to stick to conventional channels for purchasing it. That means using reputable online retailers like Walmart or Amazon, as opposed to unknown websites. It also means only paying for formula by credit card online, as opposed to unconventional methods like wire transfer (being asked to pay that way is a common red flag for scams).

Tips for finding formula

Parents who have struggled to obtain adequate supplies of formula may have a few options they can look at. First, pediatrician offices commonly stock formula samples, and doctors may be more willing to part with them if families present a need. Granted, at this point, medical professionals may be depleting their own supplies, but it's worth asking.

It also pays for parents to assemble a formula team, so to speak -- a group of parents who stay on the lookout for formula and pick up extra to share with the group when they manage to find it in stock. Asking for help on social media is another option, as some people are posting pictures of in-stock formula when they see it available locally.

Finally, parents with older infants who are formula fed can ask their pediatricians about transitioning to cow's milk a bit earlier to ease the crunch. Infants commonly make that change around the one-year mark, but some pediatricians may give the green light to introduce milk at 10 or 11 months, especially given the formula shortage at hand. To be clear, though, this is a decision that parents should absolutely discuss with their doctors rather than make independently.

With any luck, a combination of government efforts and supply chain ramp-ups will ease the formula shortage in time. But until then, parents may unfortunately have several rocky weeks ahead.

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