Formula Shortage

Photo by Brianna Lisa Photography on

The chronic shortage of baby formula is one of the scariest experiences for any mother and even worse for a nonlactating mother, which I had experienced. This shortage of baby formula on such a grand scale shows how unpredictable the food chain can be. On learning of this baby formula shortage, it took me back to when I had my daughter on the island of Jamaica.  During her birth, the island was going through one of its most difficult economic crises. As a result, everything was in short supply. I had to stand in line hoping to purchase even a can of baby formula as a twenty-year-old with a newborn, and none was to be had.

I knew panicking wasn’t going to help. Therefore, nervously, I looked into my pantry to figure out how to ensure my baby didn’t go hungry. At that time, fresh cow’s milk was delivered to me daily, unpasteurized. Not knowing the risk of giving unpasteurized milk to a baby, I blended a few tablespoons of Oatmeal with a little barley, cooked the blend with the milk, then put it through a sieve. I made sure the homemade formula consistency was thin enough to easily flow through her bottles. When she reached about six months, I introduced fresh fruits and vegetable purees into her diet that was put through heat by stewing the fruits and vegetables. I am not suggesting anyone do as I did; I am only sharing the drastic measures I took to ensure my baby was fed, which came from desperation. We mothers will do what needs to be done to provide the best for our offspring.

In this present situation of the unavailability of baby formulas, I can identify with you, mothers. I pray this formula shortage will be quickly resolved. However, for those breastfeeding mothers, stay hydrated and give the babies as much breast milk as possible. Breastfeeding is also a good form of bonding with your baby. I recall I felt guilty about being unable to do so. It was not my choice not to breastfeed my baby, but rather by design, I could not. (smile.) But, if you can do so, which all mothers aren’t able to, enjoy those moments of nurture with the baby. However, it’s encouraging that the manufacturers working hard to resolve the storage. We, mothers, are resourceful and usually find a way to secure the well-being of our children.

Photo by Anna Shvets on

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