Kentucky parents struggling to find baby formula in stores

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Posted at 5:17 PM, Apr 06, 2022

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Parents have been reaching out to LEX 18 saying they're having trouble finding one essential item at grocery stores and nearly everywhere else baby formula. A recent study looked at Twitter hashtags and searches surrounding baby formula shortages over the past 30 days. It showed that out of 160,000 tweets, only Tennessee had more than Kentucky.

Parents from around the area have reached out about how difficult it's been to find baby formula. One Georgetown mom of two -- whose daughter uses WIC -- says it's been impossible to get the special formula her baby needs.

That mom Mckayla Brake, says, "We started getting to where it was getting harder and harder to find it. This past month it come really hard to find. I had to go to several different stores to search, and search, and search."

She still couldn't find the formula she needed. Kentucky Children’s Hospital leaders passed along this list of baby formulas that have recently been recalled -- pointing to one reason some brands may be tougher to find. This system's dietitians say there are alternative formulas parents can used but warn parents to try to make sure the formulas ingredients match up before making a switch.


Registered Dietitian for Kentucky Children’s Hospital, Teresa Lee, says, "so certainly finding a similar formula that meets their baby's needs should be feasible depending on how far they are able to travel and what resources they have available."

Lee recommends consulting a professional before switching. Parents aren't the only ones struggling to find formula. The Nest in Lexington supplies everything from toiletries, to diapers, and more. These leaders say baby formula has always been difficult to keep on the shelves -- partly because it can be expensive -- but it's been even harder recently.

Adam Kuhn, the Family Assistance Supervisor with the Nest, says, "We've heard the same from a lot of our community partners. We're used to having a pretty reasonable supply of formula and lately our shelves are almost completely bare."

Kuhn says that's something that's becoming an increasing problem -- over the last two months.

"Obviously we have a ton of appreciation for our donors and families around Lexington who are trying to help -- and they are trying to give us as much as they can. But I think there is also a lot of paranoia given the context that a recall is happening."

They are urging people to continue to donate what they can, and the nest team will vet the products before they go out. Georgetown mom, McKayla Brake says this has been a tough time for her and other parents she's spoken with who just want to make sure their babies are happy and healthy.

"So I just hope that this pandemic ends soon, and these manufacturers can get the right things to make formula for these babies so these babies can grow healthy,” says Brake.

Kentucky Children’s Hospital leaders say making sure your baby has the right nutrients can help with their overall health and development.