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Hospitals work as a resource for families during baby formula shortages

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Posted at 5:38 PM, May 13, 2022

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX18) — Leaders at area hospitals and health care providers tell LEX18 they’re working with families to try to get them the supplies and support they need.

So many families across the state and the bluegrass have been impacted by the ongoing baby formula shortages. Area health providers say while they are not experiencing shortages it's something they must monitor daily.

Dr. Julie Harney, market director of women's services at CHI Saint Joseph Health says, "We were trying to stay one step ahead with the companies that provide us the formula."

Kentucky Children's Hospital leaders explained that prior to formula recalls in February there were already some existing supply chain issues. This hospital works with children that require special types of formulas these leaders say they've had difficulty prescribing these.

Registered Dietitian with the Kentucky Children’s Hospital, Teresa Lee, says, "That has been a very risky constraint in some cases."

As health care providers continue getting calls about baby formula shortages, they encourage people to continue using them as a resource.

Teresa Lee shares Kentucky Children’s Hospital’s team has been, "Just helping families call around to different stores and pharmacies."

Kentucky Children's Hospital leaders say they've worked with families that have had to travel up to 100 miles away for formula. Both health care professionals recommend that parents consider switching formulas, even combining the same types of formulas.

Lee explains "if they are using two different formulas that have different recipes, they have to mix them each separately." Then they can combine them.

Always consult your pediatrician before making any changes. CHI St. Joseph leaders say parents should never dilute the formula with water or cow’s milk. "Number one it decreases nutritional value. Number two a lot of infants may have allergies to cow’s milk,” says Dr. Harney.