Rep. Himes visits Willow Pediatrics Group to discuss baby formula shortage
Lawmakers in Washington are taking steps to increase American families' access to baby formula after months of empty store shelves. Rep. Jim Himes visited Willow Pediatrics Group in Westport Friday to discuss the ongoing baby formula shortage and Congress' plan to combat the crisis.
Dr. Lauren Allison says for most babies, any Food and Drug Administration-approved formula will pack in all the nutrition you need.
"As long as your baby is a healthy full-term baby on a regular formula, you can switch and use store brand or different name brand formulas," said Allison.
Himes says there are multiple factors at work on the empty shelves, including "too few plants, too few competitors and probably an awkward approval system," he says.
Washington lawmakers this week approved measures to expand formula coverage for families in need as House Democrats look to give FDA more staff for inspecting formula products from Europe.
"If we can import, and we will be importing, and we will be making more flexible the rules for the importing of that formula, hopefully this shortage will be over relatively quickly," said Himes.
Dieticians say infants with some conditions and dietary needs depend on specific products that are even harder to find.
"Some kids, they'll take the wrong formula, we're immediately going to see seizures. Some kids get the wrong formula, and we're going to see those impacts down the line," said Ilisa Nussbaum, registered dietitian with Yale New Haven Hospital.
Experts caution against diluting formula to make it last or trying to make your own at home.
Pediatricians say most chain stores are getting daily deliveries of formula. They recommend calling stores near you and asking about delivery times.