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2022 Formula Shortage: Neonatal Nurse Resources

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Support During the 2022 Formula Shortage

The National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN) realizes that the current formula shortage is putting undue stress on and is of major concern for families of infants under one year of age.  We also understand that our members and customers may be experiencing the shortage themselves and need to provide the appropriate information to current and former patient families, their own family members, and friends. The resources below are meant to help neonatal nurses navigate this crisis. 

Do's and Don't's of providing formula to your infant during the formula shortage

  1. Do only buy formula that meets the FDA minimum nutritional and safety requirements; store brands must meet the same requirements as name brands manufactured by Nestle/Gerber, Abbott, or Reckitt-Mead Johnson.
  2. Do always prepare formula as directed on the package or by a healthcare professional; adding more water to make the formula last longer can harm the baby by diluting the essential nutrients needed for growth and development.
  3. Don't try to make your own formula with ingredients from the store, your baby has specialized needs for proper growth and development and ingredients from the store will not meet those needs.
  4. Don't give babies under 1 year of age cow's milk or other milk substitutes (almond, oat, or soy beverages - they are not milk). 
  5. Don't give infants toddler formula. Toddlers have different nutritional needs than infants do, which could cause problems for the baby.
  6. Do be wary of formula bought online and imported, they could be counterfeit infant formulas and may not meet the minimum/maximum requirements for infant formula in the US.
  7. If buying online, when receiving the formula, do inspect it closely before giving to your infant. Does it have the same nutrients that your current formula has? What is the expiration date? Inspect the can for dents, assure the seal is entirely intact, and make sure the label is the original label. Does the information on a case of formula match what is on the can? They should have identical expiration dates and lot numbers. 
  8. Is store brand as good as name brand formula? - Yes! All formulas manufactured and sold in the US must meet the guidelines set in the "Infant Formula Act of 1980". The act establishes the minimum of nutrients for infant formulas, defines adulteration, provides nutrient and quality control procedures, describes recall procedures, as well as specific inspection requirements for infant formulas. Because of this act, store brand formulas (Kroger, CVS, Target, etc.) must meet the same requirements as the formulas from brands such as Abbott or Reckitt-Mead Johnson, or Nestle/Gerber. 

Recommened Resources:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Lists possible community resources who may be able to help get formula as well as provide guidance for parents and caregivers.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

  1. Questions & Answers for Consumers Concerning Infant Formula | FDA
  2. FDA Advises Parents and Caregivers to Not Make or Feed Homemade Infant Formula to Infants | FDA

Professional Organizations: