Parents struggle to find baby formula in Westchester stores amid national shortage
The national baby formula shortage is impacting families across the nation, as well as in the Hudson Valley.
The out-of-stock rate for baby formula has reached 40%. Recent recalls and supply chain issues have worsened the shortage.
Manufacturers say they're producing at full capacity and making as much as they can, but parents say it's still not enough.
Dr. Rachel Biller, a pediatrician at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital, says infants who use specialized formulas may feel the brunt the most.
"It's really critical that infants under a year get baby formula or breast milk as their primary source of nutrition,” Biller says. “We've even had children that had to stay at the hospital a little bit longer so that we could ensure that they're able to be discharged with a full outpatient supply."
Biller says parents should contact their pediatricians if they are having trouble finding formula.
"A lot of times pediatricians will have resources, possibly even formula samples, and pediatricians can refer parents that are having difficulties to other organizations to get formula,” she says.
Milk banks like the New York Milk Bank in Valhalla say they have also noticed an influx in demand.
"Not at all an issue, we are able to meet that demand and have plenty of milk available,” says Linda Harelick, the executive director of the New York Milk Bank.
Medical experts say to not dilute baby formula in an effort to make it last longer, as it can be dangerous for babies.
A prescription from your child's pediatrician is needed if you plan to get milk from a local milk bank.