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Families are feeling the impact of baby formula shortages

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) – Here in the river region, mothers forbid helping each other and meeting the needs of their young.

Three months ago, Tara Sexton and her family welcomed twins born at 35 weeks and six days by cesarean section.

“Having a newborn doesn’t really prepare you for having two newborns. You would think it would be very similar. But there are a lot of differences,” Sexton said.

What has made this time more difficult is that there is a nationwide shortage of infant formula caused by supply chain issues and recalls. Sexton’s babies can only drink a specific type of formula that was already hard to find before the shortage.

“So we go through a lot of formula, they drink about four ounces, six times a day. So you look everyday for us we need about 52-54 ounces of formula on average, that’s changing a bit now. Because the way they are, they grow up, they’re going to need more formula,” Sexton said. “I have all the apps for all the pharmacies and Target and Walmart. Every morning I look to see if I can do a pickup order for the formula from any of these, these stores.

Some retailers limit the amount of formula parents can buy. Now mums are stepping up to help Sexton and other mothers ensure their babies are fed.

“It was really heartbreaking to see a lot of these moms frantically trying to find formula. And I had a baby that needed a special formula. And so I know how important that is for the moms,” Bonnie McGalliard said.

McGalliard no longer has a child who needs formula but knows the struggle. She is part of a moms Facebook group where members help other moms find the food their baby needs.

“We mums who have older kids who don’t need formula, maybe have a little more time to look for these things for these young mums and new mums and accompany them and help them,” McGalliard said.

Many moms haven’t met in person, but they share a bond in motherhood. Sexton is grateful to these Facebook friends who are stepping up in important ways.

“It’s really beautiful. Like, even outside of motherhood, that, like a human sees the need for another human and is like, that just speaks to them. And that’s just, they just want to do what “They can help that person. I mean, it’s really, really amazing,” Sexton said.

Children’s of Alabama says that if your child is taking a standard formula, you should have no problem switching to another brand. They caution against trying to stretch your supply or make your own.

The Alabama Department of Public Health always advises parents to seek the advice of their health care provider regarding the nutritional needs of infants and children. Also, people who may be eligible for WIC in Alabama should contact their local health department if they are eligible.

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