'Medical emergency': Duke pediatrician warns baby formula shortage is a crisis, moms worried

Akilah Davis Image
Tuesday, May 24, 2022
Duke pediatrician warns about baby formula shortage impact
The bare shelves across North Carolina where formula should be has moms and doctors across the state worried.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The bare shelves across North Carolina where formula should be have moms across the state worried. Medical professionals are calling this formula shortage a medical emergency.

"If I go right in my pantry, I simply have these two cans right here left. This is it," said Fayetteville resident Jameelah Bullock.

It's not like Bullock can head to the grocery store and buy more for her eight-month-old twin sons Leland and Langston like she normally would.

"It's been three months now of us going to all the stores here, calling all the stores," said Bullock.

In Raleigh's Pullen Park it's the same story.

Emily Sands is a mom of a 10-month-old baby. She says her network of friends and family are on the hunt for formula.

"The formula my friend uses, I've only been able to find it once. My mom found some for me even though I won't need it for a week from now," said Sands.

Duke pediatrician Dr. Ellie Erickson calls making your own formula dangerous. She says the recipes you find online are not regulated.

"I consider running out of formula to be as essential as running out of food. Babies can dehydrate and starve very quickly in a matter of days," said Dr. Erickson.

If you see any formula on the shelves, buy it even if it's not the brand you typically use. They are nutritionally equivalent.

"A switch between brands for most infants isn't going to be an issue. It's really a brand difference; it's Pepsi versus Coke," said Dr. Erickson.

According to Dr. Erickson if you are unable to find formula call your local WIC office, community groups and pediatrician.

This comes as parents and grandparents like Charles Cates search desperately for the liquid gold.

"Every day. Every day I'm stopping at grocery stores to see if we can find it," said Cates.