Madison health experts warn parents not to water down baby formula

Shortage makes formula harder to find, but watering it down could risk infant’s health
Shortage makes formula harder to find, but watering it down could risk infant’s health.
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 7:21 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Supply demands and recent Similac recall make it harder to find baby formula to feed developing infants.

UW Health pediatric clinical nutritionist Camila Martin said parents who can’t find their usual baby formula should reach out to their registered dieticians, primary care physicians or the Women’s Infant Child Program (WIC) to find adequate alternatives.

Martin said parents should not water down formulas to make the products last longer.

”If it’s watered down that can actually be really challenging on their bodies to breakdown and can be dangerous to their kidneys,” Martin said. “If they are able to find an alternative use the instructions that are on the back of the can or reach out to your healthcare provider if you have questions.”

Mothers who qualify can also find less expensive alternatives through Public Health Madison and Dane County’s WIC program. PHMDC’s communications coordinator Morgan Finke said they have added more alternative formulas to the WIC registry to meet the current needs.

”There’s an array of options for families to choose from in terms of which formulas are now approved to be used with that WIC card,” Finke said.

She and Martin stressed that families should not purchase more formula than they need. Finke said families should purchase a maximum of a two-week supply.

“I would not encourage families to buy everything off of the shelf just to have a two year supply when their infant probably won’t need that for that much time,” Martin said. She pointed out that will ensure there’s enough on the shelves for those who do need it.

UW Health also parents should double check formula expiration dates to make sure they’re current.

The FDA’s list of recalled formulas can be found online here.

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