fbpx
Web-Site-InteriorPage-Graphics-member-news

Information for families during the infant formula shortage

alliance-icon-member

To help families get the infant formula they need, the California Department of Public Health has temporarily expanded baby formula purchasing options for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. If your family qualifies for WIC, you now have a total of 130 baby formula brands to choose from. Find the latest information on the WIC website or call a WIC office near you.

The following guidelines are to support you in keeping your baby safe and healthy. If you have questions, please talk to your baby’s pediatrician.

Do’s and don’ts of infant formula

  • Do talk to your baby’s pediatrician about a safe alternative if you have trouble finding your baby’s specific formula or if your baby uses a specialty formula.
  • Do not water down infant formula. This can lead to a dangerous condition called water intoxication.
  • Do not buy formulas from unknown online distributors. There is no way of telling whether the seller’s product is safe and sanitary (i.e., packaged and stored correctly, no ingredients added, etc.).
  • Do not use imported formulas from other countries that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not review.
  • Do not feed your baby cow’s milk before they are 12 months old.

The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend using homemade baby formula.

Where can I find infant formula?

We know it is not easy to change your baby’s diet. However, if you cannot find formula in stock, here are some tips for finding safe substitutes.

Name Information
Gerber You can use MyGerber Baby Expert to be connected to a certified nutrition or lactation consultant, by phone, text, Facebook Messenger, web chat or video call. This resource can help identify a similar formula that may be available.
Abbott

(Metabolic & Similac specialty formulas)

You can speak to your baby’s pediatrician if there is an urgent medical need. Providers can submit an Urgent Product Request by downloading and completing the Abbott Urgent Product Request Form for Metabolic and Similac specialty formulas.

To return the form, fax 877-293-9145 or email metabolicorders@abbott.com.

You can call Abbott’s Customer Service Line at 800-881-0876 for more information.

Abbott

(EleCare specialty amino acid-based formulas)

You can speak to your baby’s pediatrician if there is an urgent medical need to get EleCare products. Providers can submit an urgent product request by downloading and completing the Abbott Urgent Product Request Form for EleCare specialty amino acid based formulas.

To return the form, send via fax to 877-293-9145 or email elecareorders@abbott.com.

You can call Abbott’s Customer Service Line at 800-881-0876 for more information.

Reckitt You can call Reckitt’s at 800 BABY-123 (222-9123).
Community Action Agency (CAA) You can locate your nearest Community Action Agency (CAA). They may be able to provide you with infant formulas or connect you with local agencies that have formulas in stock.
United Way 2-1-1 You can dial 211 to be connected to a community resource specialist with United Way. They may be able to help you identify food pantries and other charitable sources of local infant formula and baby food.
Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) You can locate your nearest Human Milk Banking Association of North America. Certain HMBANA-accredited milk banks distribute donated breast milk to mothers in need. Some may require a prescription from your doctor.
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program If your family is eligible for WIC, you can contact your local WIC office to find out about where you can get infant formula nearby.

The California Department of Public Health has also temporarily expanded infant formula purchasing options for the WIC program.  If you qualify for WIC, you now have 130 infant formula brands to choose from.

Given that many parents and families across the country have questions, you may experience long wait times.

Online resources

For more answers to questions, visit these websites: