The formula shortage is affecting low-income mothers struggling to find and pay for baby food and formulas covered by the state’s WIC program.
Valley Baptist Medical Center – Brownsville Pediatrician Dr. Asim Zamir said the reason for a variety of formulas is to help infants with allergies or digestive problems such as colic and constipation.
According to Dr. Zamir, formulas are also meant to help mothers who are unable to breastfeed.
As mothers search for alternatives to baby formula, Dr. Zamir said the only alternative for an infant is breast milk.
However, he would like to remind mothers that four to six-month-old babies can be introduced to baby food.
“The best time to start the table food, which is the cereals, Gerber is the most common name,” said Dr. Zamir. “By that time the muscles in the mouth, in the tongue, in our throat or airway are developed enough to protect and swallow the food properly into the digestive system.”
As for regular milk, Dr. Zamir said it is recommended for children who are one year old.
Dr. Zamir said WIC is a great resource for parents to receive the proper nutrition until their child turns two years old.
The program also provides resources for mothers during pregnancy and prenatal care.
“They have a lactation specialist who counsels parents and gives guidelines on what to be on the lookout for, especially for those mothers who are having trouble breastfeeding.”
If you are interested in learning more about WIC, you can contact them at 1-800-889-5595 or through their website.