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Butler County's great daily newspaper

Amid formula shortage, check in with the moms in your life

Though many shortages throughout the COVID-19 pandemic have caused panic, the most recent one — baby formula — might be the worst since the shortage of personal protective equipment early in the pandemic.

Over the past two-plus years, there have been shortages of all types of things: toilet paper, turkeys, chocolate, computer chip shortages for cars, you name it.

These shortages have caused all sorts of inconvenience and often inflated prices, too.

But anyone who was unable to track down a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner likely found another way to celebrate the holiday.

Baby formula, however, is not a delicacy that infants can do without. Breast milk or formula is needed for babies up until they become 1 year old.

Formula might be required as a supplement to breast milk or a replacement, in some circumstances.

Breastfeeding isn’t an option for some, and even when it is, mothers should be able to make decisions about how they feed their babies without such stress.

This shortage, however, is not quite like the great toilet paper shortage of 2020, where the shortage was the result of over-buying. People stocked up in preparation for the pandemic, but that left some without any toilet paper left to buy.

In the case of the formula shortage, notable factors include supply chain issues and a substantial February recall by Abbott Nutrition — which included Similac, Alimentum and EleCare baby formula.

This isn’t a scenario where moms of infants can resolve the issue by simply buying less — and that is scary. It isn’t surprising that a mom would be craving security and be tempted to buy more than they need, but over-buying isn’t the solution. It only worsens the issue.

That being said, few moms — let alone those of infants — have time to visit to numerous stores in the hope of maybe finding formula. It’s a stressful time, and, well, this shortage sure isn’t helping.

So look out for the new moms in your life. Don’t hoard up formula either, but if you’re going to a grocery store, check in with the moms of infants in your life.

You could save them the effort of visiting yet one more store themselves.

— TL