COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Baby formula is being flown into the United States in an effort called Operation Fly Formula and many Ohio families want to know how this will impact them.
Experts with local hospitals said these deliveries will not be hitting groceries store shelves; instead, experts with Nationwide Children’s Hospital and OhioHealth said these deliveries aren’t intended for the majority of the population.
Both say it’s important for families to know their options as they wait for the formula supply to return to normal levels.
Operation Fly Formula is offering some relief, but it isn’t available to the general public. Instead, it’s going to hospitals because it is a medical-grade, not standard formula.
“The children that are on those formulas are typically closely followed by a health care provider and requires prescriptions for those special formulas,” said Rebecca Romero, a licensed dietician and clinical leader in the Department of Clinical Nutrition and Lactation at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
She said that with the shortage, its key parents know all alternatives.
“Want to look for a product that’s in the same category, so if they’re using a brand-name, milk-based product, looking for a store-brand, milk-based product or a different brand name would be appropriate.”
The hospital does have a list of resources as well as do’s and don’t’s that can be found by clicking here.
“Right now, through the formula shortage, I’m seeing a lot of moms asking. ‘How do I make more milk?’” said Dr. Jessica Tucker, who recently opened a new practice at Grant Family Medicine that focuses solely on breastfeeding.
Tucker has increased hours at this time to help families on their journeys to increase milk production or even get back into breastfeeding.
Both Tucker and Romero warn families not to make their own formula.
“There is a specific content of salts and sugar, and that ratio is really important when you’re supplementing children and infants,” Tucker said. “I do not advise and I strongly discourage families from trying to make their own formulas.”
Romero said the formula supply at the hospital is currently in good standing.
“We have had to be creative with switching between alternate formulas as well, like others in the community, so luckily at this time, we do have adequate formula and adequate substitutes for the patients that have been admitted to the hospital,” Romero said.
Families can schedule an appointment with Tucker for her Breastfeeding Practice by calling Grant Family Medical Center’s central scheduling at 614-788-5400.