5 Essential Tips for Parents in Need of Baby Formula

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Physicians Provide Guidance for Parents Concerned About Shortage

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Amid ongoing shortages of baby formula, physicians and dietitians with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a nonprofit of more than 17,000 physicians, provide 5 key tips for parents.

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Among these experts is Susan Levin, MS, RD, CSSD, director of nutrition education for the Physicians Committee, who says, “As a mother, I know this shortage is creating stress for many new parents. Fortunately, there is no shortage of soy formula, and human milk banks are also available. For infants without a soy allergy, soy-based formulas are healthful options for infants and provide the nutrients the baby needs in the first six months of life.”

5 Essential Tips for Parents in Need of Baby Formula

  1. Breast milk is best. The decision to use formula should be limited mainly to cases of medical necessity. For the first six months, infants do not need any nourishment other than breast milk (or formula). They should continue to receive breast milk (or formula) at least through their first 12 months; the longer, the better. There is no need for infants to consume cow’s milk products.
  2. When breastfeeding is not possible, commercial soy formulas for infants are available (not to be confused with soy milk or other plant milks designed for adults and older children). Use soy powdered formula or soy liquid formula.
  3. Look online for a retailer that may have more formula in stock than your local store.
  4. Consider a human milk bank. Contact your state’s department of health to find out if it has information on human milk banks in your area. Another source of information is the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA), a voluntary professional association for human milk banks. HMBANA issues voluntary safety guidelines for member banks on screening donors, and collecting, processing, handling, testing, and storing milk.
  5. Do not make your own formula or water down formula to make it last longer, and never feed unmodified cow’s milk to infants.

Levin shares the following guidance for baby’s first year. At around 6 months, it is time to introduce solid foods to your baby’s diet. Introduce iron-fortified infant cereal, mixed with a little breast milk or soy formula, since it is the least likely to cause allergies.

At 6 to 8 months, you can begin introducing other plant-based foods:

  • Vegetables, including potatoes and carrots, are good choices. They should be thoroughly cooked and mashed.
  • Fruits, such as mashed bananas, avocados, or peaches.
  • By 8 months, some babies can eat crackers, bread, and dry cereal and protein-rich foods like well-cooked and mashed beans.

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in education and research.

Contacts

Leslie Raabe, 443-534-5803, lraabe@pcrm.org

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