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St. Louis County feels impact of national baby formula shortage

"We understand the anxiety that parents and caregivers are experiencing," said St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Health officials say right now St. Louis County is experiencing the effects of a nationwide baby formula shortage.

As a result, health officials are doing everything they can to help area parents navigate through the shortages.

"We understand the anxiety that parents and caregivers are experiencing," said St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page in a Thursday news release. “Still, it’s important that no one hoards infant formula, and that anyone struggling with feeding their infant should contact their health provider to discuss options.” 

The Missouri Department of Public Health and Senior Services has come up with a "do's and don'ts" list to help parents navigate through the shortages.

They say to feed your baby over six months old more baby food and less formula.

RELATED: Local milk bank sees influx of donations amid baby formula shortage

Do wean your babies over 12 months old off formula.

Health officials also say not to hoard formula and to only keep a month supply at the most.

They also warn not to make homemade formula because that may have a negative impact on infant growth and can cause life-threatening, foodborne illnesses when consumed.

In a release sent to 5 On Your Side, officials also urged parents and caregivers not to dilute or water down formula to make it last longer.

State health officials also urge parents to avoid using baby formula beyond its expiration date, and, to be cautious when buying formula online if they are not familiar with the supplier.

President Joe Biden stepped up his administration's response to the nationwide baby formula shortage Thursday.

The president discussed with executives from Gerber and Reckitt how they could increase production and how his administration could help, and talked with leaders from Walmart and Target about how to restock shelves and address regional disparities in access to formula, the White House said.

The shortage is weighing particularly on lower-income families after the recall by formula maker Abbott, stemming from contamination concerns. The recall wiped out many brands covered by WIC, a federal program like food stamps that serves women, infants and children, though the program now permits brand substitutes. The Biden administration is working with states to make it easier for WIC recipients to buy different sizes of formula that their benefits might not currently cover.

Click here to read the full list on the Missouri DHSS website.

    

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