Kentucky mom concerned as baby formula shortage impacts cost of breast milk

Posted at 6:00 PM, May 11, 2022

(LEX 18) — A plastic bag of purchased breast milk would cost $50 but it would only last new mom Leah Wedel and her son a day.

"Because of the formula shortage, now the cost of breast milk has skyrocketed," said Wedel.

She can't make enough breast milk to feed three-month-old Calyx so she relies on being able to buy it from other women, often driving across central Kentucky to pick the milk up.

It's necessary but costly, especially as formula becomes harder to find.

"We knew there'd be diapers, and car seats, and baby clothes, you know how fast they grow. But we had no idea we'd be spending that much just to feed him," said Wedel.

Wedel isn't alone. Her son isn't formula-fed but her family is still experiencing the impacts of the shortage.

Nearly half of baby formula stock is wiped out nationwide. No matter how desperate parents become, doctors say parents should never make their own formula because doing so could be dangerous.

"When you do that sort of thing, you're not doing it with the precision that we need to do with children," Dr. David Hawse.

As stores limit how much formula people can buy, families are left wondering when the shortage will end and hoping for a solution soon.