‘It’s terrifying:’ Baby formula shortage throws Tri-State parents into uncertainty

Some parents have resorted to stretching out their formula supplies to make them last.
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 9:47 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - The national shortage of baby formula has store shelves empty in the Tri-State.

Months of spot shortages at pharmacies and supermarkets have been worsened by a recall at Abbott, which was forced to shutter its largest U.S. formula manufacturing plant in February due to contamination concerns.

On Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the Food and Drug Administration was “working around the clock to address any possible shortages.” The next day, the FDA said it’s working with manufacturers to increase output.

Locally, Jessica Enderle is a TriHealth dietician and mother to a 10-month-old son. She’s using her Instagram as a way to educate others in the community about comparable formula options until the shortage ends.

“I’m very concerned for other moms because this is a basic need and they don’t have it,” Enderle said Tuesday.

Enderle works out of Good Samaritan and Bethesda North hospitals. In addition to being a dietician, she also has experience in the neonatal intensive care unit.

She says many parents are asking about stretching out their formula supplies to make them last longer. But that dilutes it, and babies, like her son, Waylon, need the nutrition.

The same is true of Jenna Marschall’s 6-week-old son, Sullivan.

“It’s terrifying that there’s a possibility that I might not be able to feed my baby,” Marschall said.

Jenna Marschall and her 6-week-old son, Sullivan; Jessica Enderle and her 10-month-old son,...
Jenna Marschall and her 6-week-old son, Sullivan; Jessica Enderle and her 10-month-old son, Waylon.(WXIX)

Sullivan, Marschall explains, is on a special formula due to allergies. Now he’s having new health issues, and his doctors want him on an even more specific type of formula.

“But we were unable to trial it because we couldn’t find it anywhere,” Marschall said. “So we’re sticking on Nutramigen and hoping that his stomach can just handle it.”

Enderle says many new mothers are having issues similar issues.

“This can of formula is literally the most basic can of baby formula,” she said, “and we cannot find it.”

Added Marschall, “I usually have to go online right when I figure out that the trucks come in and just reserve some online and just hope that by the time that I get there that I was one of the lucky ones to get it held.”

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