DPH offers advice on how to handle formula supply shortage | News

DOVEROf the. – The Division of Public Health (DPH) provides guidance to families struggling to find infant formula due to a shortage caused by supply chain issues, including avoiding taking certain actions that could harm to the health of their infants.

“A baby can become intoxicated with water and produce swelling of the brain, do not try to give him an animal formula or cow’s milk to a newborn,” said Dr Marisel Santiago, pediatrician at the La Red health center.

DPH sent a letter from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Maternal and Child Health of the Health Resources and Services Administration to families and maternal and child health stakeholders , offering individuals information on how to safely navigate shortages.

Parents and guardians receive the following advice:

  • Talk to your doctor: Families should consult with their pediatrician to discuss the best options for their child. Doctors can advise on comparable formulas and specialty formulas to meet the medical and nutritional needs of their babies.
  • Consider a substitute formula: For most babies, it is acceptable to use a similar version of their formula if their usual brand of formula is not currently available. Talk to your baby’s pediatrician about alternatives.
  • Check the manufacturer’s site online for formula availability before heading to a store to purchase.

DPH reminds parents/guardians:

  • Do not make or use formula: According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), formulas are often lacking or contain insufficient amounts of nutrients essential for growth and maintenance. development of a baby and, in some cases, can cause infants to need hospitalization due to low calcium levels.
  • Never dilute infant formula: Diluting infant formula can be dangerous and even life-threatening, leading to serious nutritional deficit and health problems.
  • Consider a substitute formula: For most babies, if their usual brand of formula is not currently available, using a similar version of their formula is acceptable. Talk to your baby’s pediatrician about alternatives.
  • If he is not getting breast milk, formula should be used until your baby is one year old, but if your child is over six months old, you can start supplementing nutrition with solids. Talk to your pediatrician about introducing certain solids like fortified cereals, mashed bananas, and mashed poultry and beans.
  • Talk to your doctor: Families should consult with their pediatrician to discuss the best options for their child. Doctors can advise on comparable formulas and specialty formulas to meet the medical and nutritional needs of their babies.
  • Breastfeed your child: When possible, breastfeeding is the healthiest option for children under one year old.
  • For parents who are breastfeeding or need extra support, they can consider a lactation consultant or support groups, or seek help accessing a low-cost breast pump from your insurer, Medicaid or WIC to help with milk supply. There are also breast milk banks that properly store, test and distribute donated breast milk to meet the specific needs of infants for whom breast milk is prescribed by doctors. The Delaware WIC program offers breastfeeding assistance to new mothers, including peer counselors, lactation consultants, and hand pumps. Details of WIC’s breastfeeding programs can be found here.

“In fact today I had a 22 day old baby who arrived with diarrhoea, when we asked the mother she tries to breastfeed but she couldn’t find formula so she completes with chamomile tea so we explain you can’t do that,” said Dr Santiago

DPH has also taken the following steps to help parents and guardians as supply chain issues are resolved nationwide:

  • WIC recipients were asked to return any unused formula to the Delaware Food Bank or other state agency food pantry.
  • WIC recipients also won a waiver to replace the formula this winter when supply chain issues that were compounded by a recall first emerged. A table of alternative formulas has been created to help parents and carers choose the right formula for their child.
  • Parents who are breastfeeding or need extra support can consider a lactation consultant or support groups, or seek help accessing a low-cost breast pump from their insurer, Medicaid, or WIC for help them provide milk. The Delaware WIC program offers breastfeeding assistance to new mothers, including peer counselors, lactation consultants, and hand pumps. Details of WIC’s breastfeeding programs can be found here.
  • DPH reminds parents that state and community resources that may be helpful during this time are available, such as WIC, SNAP, or TANF to help with the cost of purchasing infant formula or finding other infant supplies through the local food banks, including the Food Bank of Delaware. DPH also offers a breastfeeding guide for mothers who want to find support or learn more about breastfeeding.
  • Several Delaware birthing hospitals also offer breastfeeding support and parent education. People should check with their local hospital to see what services are offered.

Delawarens are encouraged to visit dethrives.com for up-to-date information on Delaware’s response to infant formula supply chain issues, call 211 for community resources and services near you you, or follow DEThrives and DPH on Facebook and Instagram.


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