HENDERSON, Texas (KETK) — Parents have desperately been searching for baby formulas, trying to figure out a way to keep their child fed.
“It hasn’t become a big issue to me until recently after my breast milk stock ran low and my little one has to have it to be able to digest it,” said Tona Baker, an East Texas mother.
Many mothers are now looking for alternatives.
“When you try to find formula or even a do it yourself, formula alternatives, those have not been tested nor overseen by the FDA,” said Dr. LaJuan Chambers, Henderson UT Health pediatrician.
You may have seen different alternatives online to replace baby formula like goat, coconut and hemp milk have been brought up for parents to use, but Henderson UT Health Dr. LaJuan Chambers says they are not safe for children under the age of one.
“Only when you get over the age of one year do we recommend things like goat milk. People use those as alternatives all the time but we have to have those children monitored very closely for anemia and also issues of their metabolism as well,” said Dr. Chambers.
Dr. Chambers says it is best to try and find a similar formula on the shelves. Texas WIC has a list on their website with alternative formulas to your brand.
“It’s really important to feed them a very well balanced healthy diet in the first few months of life and even to the first year,” said Dr. Chambers.
It is always best to speak to your pediatrician before giving your baby anything you are unsure of. Not every child is alike and it is best to get an alternative that suits your infant.
“We’ve kind of had to take an approach of a case by case basis in deciding what is safe for the baby, what is available, what is accessible and what is financially feasible,” said Dr. Chambers.
There are organizations in East Texas to help you like Wonder Women Outreach in Troup and WIC North Tyler. You can also talk to your pediatrician for recommendations. Wonder Women Outreach is currently looking for volunteers to help out.
There is also a Facebook page you can find here, put together by community members to help parents find baby formula in the Longview area. Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas is another resource that is available.