Navigating the baby formula shortage in Las Vegas

An infant formula shortage has been impacting families across the United States for months.
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 11:20 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - An infant formula shortage has been impacting families across the United States for months. Supply chain issues and recalls have led to the short supply in stores.

Parents are now taking desperate measures to find formula for their children.

“It just started becoming harder and harder,” mother of a five-month-old Ro’Shell Hurtado said. “This is kind of getting crazy. Why is there no formula out there what so ever?”

Manufacturers have said they are producing at full capacity to make as much as they can, but this week 43% of baby formulas were out of stock, according to a new report from Datasembly.

Hurtado said multiple times over the last couple months she’s driven several hours south to Arizona to stock up on formula when she can’t find it in Las Vegas.

“It’s been ridiculous to find something, and then I can’t keep switching formula’s because it’s upsetting his stomach,” Hurtado said.

La Leche League is a non-profit that helps new mothers with all aspects of breastfeeding.

“This is a great example of an advantage of breastfeeding. When there’s food insecurity breast milk is always on tap,” Las Vegas La Leche League Leader Corrine said.

Corrine said more moms have reached out to them lately. One question they’ve been receiving is about restarting or beginning breastfeeding.

“We can also help mothers induce lactation,” Corinne said. “Maybe they didn’t start lactation to begin with and they want to induce lactation.”

However, pediatrician Dr. Constantine George said the majority of babies in the U.S. are formula fed. His office and others have been flooded with questions from parents.

“We’re so ingrained with certain brands, and I tell parents you have to get away from branding when it comes to situations like this,” George said. “Unless you’ve had an issue before where your child’s had a side effect.”

George said it’s not a good idea to dilute formula to make it last longer and does not recommend making it yourself.

Some parents ship from oversees, but he said it’s not regulated like it is in the U.S. so it could be risky.

George said pediatricians often have sample formula they receive and can hand out to clients. He said there are also WIC offices that sometimes have supplies for eligible parents.