HERRIMAN, Utah (ABC4) – Thousands of Utahns are struggling with the ongoing shortage of baby formula.
Many tell ABC4 they are relying on the community to help them get through this. There are so many mommy support groups out there where individuals are really stepping up.
For example, the Herriman Happenings Facebook page has moms connecting, helping, supporting and showing love to each other.
Some mothers are giving away extra formula, some are trying their best to locate available formula and others are even breastfeeding to donate their milk to a milk bank or to a friend in need.
For mother of three, Amber Pullar, 27, it all started at a check-out line inside Costco.
“We get to check out and I have my six cans on the line and a lady looks at me and says, ‘I can only give you two and I wanted to cry,”‘ said Pullar.
This is a necessity for Pullar and thousands of other Utah mothers and their children. The shortage of baby formula almost brought the Herriman mother to tears.
“I mean it’s a mom thing and nobody wants to look at a baby and say ‘you are going to go hungry,”‘ said Pullar. “We are feeding our kids and we are going to make sure your kids are taken care of too.”
Pullar has a 2-year-old-girl named Alice and 1-year-old adopted twin boys, Theo and Leo. She was spending $500 on formula before just recently taking them off it.
She said the mom groups have made sacrifices to help each other out.
“We make sure your kids are taken care of too and that’s what we see a lot of in Herriman,” said Pullar. “We look out for each other in a lot of ways and this shortage has been showing it more.”
Dr. Wendy Hopson-Rohrer, a pediatrician, said she applauds those wanting to help, but make sure you don’t change formulas without a doctor’s permission and don’t dilute the formula.
“Our human bodies are amazing, but a lot of times babies’ kidneys and everything else doesn’t work quite right, so we know we need to do formula as it is recommended,” said Dr. Hopson-Rohrer.
While the baby formula shortage will sour on, Pullar said that’s no reason to give up.
“Because the kids didn’t do anything to deserve this,” said Pullar. “It’s not that there’s nothing that a child can do that warrants them from not having food in their stomachs and so to know it’s not the fault of a mom and she can’t afford it, she can’t put food on the table, that’s not the issue. It’s the issue of there’s a shortage and moms can come together and we can help with that shortage.”
Pullar’s twin boys were adopted so she said breastfeeding was not an option.
Health experts strongly recommend against diluting any baby formula or altering it unless a pediatrician says it’s okay.
At this rate though, it appears that it’ll be at least 8-10 weeks before the formula shortage starts getting better.