Strategies and solutions amid baby formula shortage

Dr. Beth Ebel, a professor of pediatrics at the UW School of Medicine, warns families against diluting dwindling supplies of baby formula. Instead, she suggests these ideas:

  • Contact your pediatrician or family doctor, who may have access to off-market supplies.
  • Check smaller stores, which may have stock as larger retailers sell out.
  • Safely switch your baby’s normal formula to another brand.
  • Contact an established breast milk bank in your community.
  • Pursue maternity care if you want to resume or begin breastfeeding.
  • Consider donating your excess supply if you have more than you need.

Ebel also suggests a short-term, stopgap solution for babies ages 6 months and older only:

“You could get by with whole cow’s milk for a period of time,” said Ebel, who sees patients at the Pediatric Clinic at Harborview. “Cow’s milk doesn't have enough iron in it, so you may want to talk to your pediatrician about getting a little vitamin supplement and also thinking about iron-rich foods to add if you're getting through (with this method).”

Download broadcast-ready video and audio assets featuring Ebel’s baby-formula shortage suggestions.

UW Medicine