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Baby Formula Shortage: NCFL Doctor answers FAQ’s

Baby Formula Shortage: NCFL Doctor answers FAQ’s
Published: May. 23, 2022 at 8:06 AM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - As the nationwide baby formula shortage continues, many parents are turning to social media to learn about the impacts switching formula may have.

Clinical Associate Professor of the University of Florida Department of Pediatrics Dr. Rachel Coleman is using her experience to answers commonly asked questions.

Q: In North Central Florida, many parents are finding trouble in rural areas getting specific formulas for baby’s with sensitive stomachs. What are some pros and cons of switching?

A: “I would say in most cases those babies will do quite well switching to a standard formula you know it’s always gonna be best to talk with your pediatrician if you have specific questions about it but typically those sensitive type formulas are started earlier on, when babies are much more sensitive to the formula composition as as babies get a little bit older 4 to 6 months of age usually they’ll do a lot better switching to a standard formula that’s usually what I would recommend if parents can’t find their preferred formula,” Dr. Coleman said.

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Q: When it comes to transitioning to cows milk what are your thoughts with that?

A: “I think in the first six months of age it’s definitely not something you’d want to do past six months of age we are always going to recommend still to stick to a standard formula because it’s got the right composition of all the nutrients that babies need if babies absolutely can’t find formula then they can try introducing small amounts of cows milk for a short amount of time. I’d say as short of amount of time as possible if your baby is getting close to their first birthday and certainly if you wanna make that transition a few weeks early that’s generally going to be tolerated fine,” said Dr. Coleman.

Q: If a mother started out breast-feeding, then switched over to formula, what is the process to reverting back to breast-feeding and what are some misconceptions?

A: “I think that a misconception may be that it is relatively easy process for most women trying to initiate relactation. For most women it will be a pretty egregious and very time consuming process it is possible but you were going to want to do that with the guidance of a lactation consultant so you can get the best advice to be a successful as possible,” said Dr. Coleman.

Q: People have been seeing breastmilk donations, would you recommend it?

A: “I think if you have access to a milk bank with breastmilk that has been screened that’s a fantastic option for families and I hope that will be more and more accessible in the future weeks, but in general the thing you wanna be careful about is that it’s from unknown source and a mom that’s been screened appropriately for any infectious diseases,” Dr. Coleman added.

RELATED STORY: Baby formula shortage: How North Central Florida parents are affected

Q: Making your own baby formula: What have been some recipes that you have may be heard of and what are some dangers in doing that?

A: “You have seen all over social media recipes that people have found at baby books in the 50′s and 60′s and that used to be standard practice before we had other options available, but the risks for that or that you can end up mixing it was not the right composition and babies are very sensitive to all those nutrients and it can lead to hospitalization and maybe even death if it’s not mixed appropriately,” said Dr. Coleman.

Q: Do you think there’s hope on the horizon for the shortage how long do you think it will last?

A: “The hope is that it’s really going to be it’s only going to be one to two months at most and I think hearing about this shipments coming in from other countries should hopefully have a good impact on reducing the shortage as well,” said Dr. Coleman.

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