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Experts warn against parents making homemade baby formula

One of several empty shelves around town without baby formula (WBMA)
One of several empty shelves around town without baby formula (WBMA)
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As the shortage of baby formulas continues, some parents are feeling desperate to provide for their children, some even making their own formula, which doctors and dieticians say is dangerous.

Empty shelf, after empty shelf, after empty shelf is what moms and dads are dealing with.

Doctors and dieticians say while options are scarce, making your own baby formula should not be one.

"The top concern for me is that they may be missing out on certain nutrients that the FDA insures is in every can or container of formula," said Lauren Manaker, a registered dietician.

Decades ago, people used recipes to create breast milk substitutes, but that's not safe or healthy anymore.

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"These homemade formulas made with the evaporated milk and Karo syrup did provide calories and some nutrients to the infant, but now as infant formula has progressed and we have so many options and so much research, manufacturers have gotten so close to what breast milk is without being breast milk," said Manaker.

Another issue with making formula is possible contamination. The FDA has criteria and guidelines to insure facilities where formulas are manufactured are sanitized and healthy for babies to consume.

"We don't know how sanitary our own kitchens are. There aren't criteria put in place when we're making our own formula that insures there's no bacteria," Manaker said.

This summer, as parents have formulas shipped from retail websites and family members out of state, keep this in mind:

"If it is an option, get formula delivered quickly, especially if it has live probiotics because probiotics cannot function as well once they reach a temperature of 100 degrees," said Manaker who also reminds parents to pay attention to expiration dates.

In April, the out of stock rate jumped to 31% according to experts.

CVS confirmed Saturday that it is limiting customers to three toddler and infant formulas per transaction.

Social media posts from customers indicated Walmart was pursuing a similar policy.

The problem is being made worse by supply chain issues along with the FDA shutdown of an Abbott Nutrition manufacturing plant in Michigan.

Manaker says it's especially important to lean on your pediatrician during this stressful time.

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If you have been making your own formula, tell your pediatrician so they can help you find what your baby needs.

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