ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Families across the country are having trouble finding formula for their babies, including here in New York State.
“This formula crisis is really a problem and it’s especially a problem for really young babies,” explained Pediatrician, Dr. Jim Saperstone. “Only 25-35 % of all moms nurse, so that leaves a lot of babies that depend on infant formula, and of course, the baby is growing so quickly so what goes into that baby is so important to the way they develop and the way they grow normally.”
Senator Daphne Jordan said this is an issue that can’t wait.
“I think state government needs to make this a priority right away. See what we can do. It’s hard to believe that this is the United States and we are having this problem,” said Jordan.
Jordan along with other Senate Republicans, wrote a letter to the governor and state health commissioner asking them to consider options at the state level to alleviate the concerns of parents.
“We did have some suggestions like a public/private partnerships with charitable organizations, other non-profits that do have access to baby formula,” stated Jordan.
In a statement, Governor Kathy Hochul said, “ In close coordination with our federal partners, New York State will continue to do everything possible to support New York families in need of formula for their infants.”
When it comes to this formula shortage, the governor’s office recommends contacting your OBGYN or pediatrician for samples and asking if it’s okay to switch to another brand. You can also call smaller stores to see if it’s in stock and contact the New York State Women, Infants, and Children Office to see if your baby is eligible for benefits.
However, Dr. Jim Saperstone said there are some things parents should not do to their baby’s formula.
“Don’t dilute it to save formula that’s going to potentially make things worse. It diluted out the critical electrolytes and other things that babies need which could be very sensitive to any changes you might make.”
Doctor Saperstone also does not recommend giving cows milk or soy milk to babies under 5 months of age.
The New York State Attorney General’s office said it has been made aware of baby formula being sold online at high prices and encouraged New Yorkers to report the price gouging. Families are also being advised to only buy as much formula as they need.