Maple Grove Family Desperately Seeks Baby Formula
Many parents across the northwest metro are struggling because of the nationwide baby formula shortage, including the new parents of twins, Ashley and Mark Johnson. The Maple Grove couple say the past few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster.
“My entire family is panicking, trying to get these babies fed,” said Ashley Johnson.
Their twins, Jack and Evelyn, were born on April 5. The two little ones spent five days in the neonatal intensive care unit. Once the babies got home, they were put on formula because mom couldn’t produce enough milk for both children.
The couple started panicking last week when they couldn’t find formula on store shelves.
“We’re pretty desperate. It’s kind of the fear of the unknown because the babies are always going to be increasing their intake as they keep growing,” said Mark Johnson.
And when the couple do luck up and locate the baby product, there’s only so much they can buy at one time.
“I think the limit at Costco was two per membership,” said the new dad.
“We go through 16 bottles a day,” explained Ashley.
The shortage is prompting the first-time mom to try and produce more breast milk.
“Unfortunately, a couple of weeks ago, I came down with a staph infection. So, that limited me even more,” Ashley said.
Pandemic, Plant Shutdown to Blame for Baby Formula Shortage
Supply-chain issues from the pandemic and Abbott Nutrition, one of the largest baby formula manufacturers in the country, recalled several brands and shut down a Michigan plant because of tainted products are to blame for the low inventory.
Officials recommend customers try smaller grocery stores and pharmacies, and of course, it’s a good idea to talk with your pediatrician.
“We’re hearing a lot of nervous folks, nervous parents who are just seeking advice on what to do next,” said Hennepin Healthcare Pediatrician Krishnan Subrahmanian.
The doctor says do not add extra water to formula to try and make it stretch.
“In Minnesota, we have babies who have been admitted for having abnormalities, electrolytes disturbances, because people have tried to mix their formula with extra water,” explained Dr. Subrahmanian.
Meanwhile, the Johnson family says if the shortage continues, they might have to take drastic measures.
“I’ve considered flying, my husband or I or a family member to Canada or another country,” said the worried mom.
The Johnson family has a Facebook page to help them with their baby formula search. There is another Facebook group called MN Formula Finder. It’s private, so you have to ask to join.