LOCAL NEWS

Some moms consider moving away from formula as shortage continues

May 18, 2022, 7:10 PM | Updated: 8:01 pm

SALT LAKE CITY –– The lactation team at University of Utah Health say they’re not necessarily seeing an influx of new clients, but rather more questions and phone calls.

It’s similar in other places too, where those questions are focused on how to depend less on formula.

Sally Wright talked with KSL TV about how caring for a new baby can be stressful enough and more so when you add in the formula shortage facing our communities.

“It’s hard to say where we’ve maxed out on stress; between pregnancy and everything during a pandemic,” she said. “This one just feels like one more on top of that. With adequate support, a lot of that stress can be eliminated.”

Wright is an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant, who works with Motherfed. She says Utah has many resources for new moms.

And right now that shortage is drawing some concerns about what could happen in the weeks ahead.

“The difference that we’re seeing with the formula shortage is just the tone of those questions that are presented,” she said. “Because now there’s a little bit of fear that they might need something they can’t get.”

Wright says questions over production are not new — it’s the reasons why that have changed.

At University of Utah Healthcare, they say the call volumes are up.

“We all look at this as it would be terrifying to be a new parent and to not know if you’re gonna have the food needed for your baby,” Elizabeth Kirts said.

Kirts is lactation manager at University of Utah Hospital and Mountain West Mother’s Milk Bank’s board chairwoman.

And as far as producing more human milk and using less formula, they say the advice hasn’t changed much. There’s no secret drink or supplement.

“There’s nothing that will increase milk production like frequent removal of milk, just to send the body signals that it needs to produce more milk,” Wright said.

That transition is gradual. It’s not an instant fix, but they say there is a wide variety of resources here in Utah for moms facing varying challenges during this shortage.

While the lactation teams at University Health say they have not seen in influx of new clients yet, they are preparing for that possibility now.

Wright adds that they are also getting calls about whether they can give out formula, which she says that cannot once moms are discharged from the hospital.

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Some moms consider moving away from formula as shortage continues