Infant Formula Shortage Tips & Resources

Meeting Your Baby's Nutritional Needs During the Formula Crisis: Alternatives, Resources, & Breastfeeding Options

Welcoming a new baby is a time of great joy for most parents. 

It's also a time of many adjustments. Learning to care for that little bundle can be a struggle, and the recent formula shortages have not helped one bit.


The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive chest/breastfeeding for the first six months and continuing for up to a year or longer. Human milk is the perfect food for your baby - easy to digest, allergen friendly (you can control exposure based on removing items from your own diet), and tailored specifically to your baby's exact nutritional and developmental needs.   


For some parents, formula feeding is a choice or is necessary when parents are not physically able to chest/breastfeed, feel like they don’t have employer support to pump at work, access to chest/breastfeeding education, or for others it is a necessary supplementation when Baby is struggling to gain weight and nurse successfully. 


If you are currently formula feeding and would like to learn more about possibly chest/breastfeeding again due to the instability in the supply chain, here are some things to try:

Many people don’t know that it may be possible to increase your milk supply or bring your milk supply back in.

This is called relactating. It involves frequent breast stimulation with a hospital grade pump and possibly bringing your baby back to the chest/breast.

Professional hospital grade pumps can be rented here. Seek guidance from an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) to help with a plan.

Work with a lactation consultant to improve Baby's latch to make nursing more comfortable.

Here are some products that might help: gel nursing pads,nipple butter,nursing tanks & bra pads.


Consider pumping to build up a stash of milk to use in lieu of formula. 


Many parents have been successful exclusively pumping for their children, so it's possible to provide milk even if you prefer not to or cannot nurse. 


These pumping essentials will help: storage bags, Elvie pumps & accessories, lactation care items.

Work to increase milk supply by taking care of yourself.

  •  Drink plenty of water
  •  Consume a healthy well-balanced diet with plenty of protein
  • Add in foods known to increase milk production such as oatmeal
  •  You may want to consider adding supplements to support your supply
  •  Try out these delicious snacks & teas
  •  You can discuss the benefits of supplements with a lactation consultant or a medical professional

For expecting parents who want to reduce dependence on formula from the beginning, here are some tips and tricks to establish a healthy supply:

  • Allow Baby plenty of skin to skin time immediately following birth
  • Reduce pacifier usage so that baby suckles often to stimulate supply
  • Avoid early supplementation. Milk production follows the rules of supply and demand: if Baby is nursing more frequently during a growth spurt, your body will respond by producing more milk
  • Try to get in one extra pumping session per day early on to establish a healthy supply and build a freezer stash
  • Utilize products to help passively collect milk throughout the day (for example collection cups that sit in bra, or a Haakaa pump)

Remember: Human milk or infant formula provides a nutritional foundation for the baby’s growing brain. It’s an important building block for the baby’s first year. The baby’s brain grows for three years! Feeding the baby the proper nutrition during this time is critical.

Need time and a safe place to pump at work?

Become familiar with the workplace chest/breastfeeding laws in your state. Even if your state doesn’t have specific workplace breastfeeding laws, don’t worry, you are still protected. Check out our resource for comparing state and federal laws.

Does your workplace have a designated safe and comfortable place to pump?

Healthy Horizons provides world class corporate lactation rooms for Fortune 100 companies and many other workplaces across North America. Contact us for an expert lactation room assessment, room design and installation, lactation equipment, furnishings and services. 


If you have more questions, please visit the lactation consultations portion of our website on HealthyHorizons.com. Our consultations take place under the care of trained healthcare professionals who are International Board Certified Lactation Consultants® (IBCLC®). Professionals specializing in the clinical management of breastfeeding, our lactation consultants are experts in the fields of human lactation and breastfeeding counseling.


No matter where you are on your feeding journey, Healthy Horizons is here to help. Together we will get through this current crisis, and whatever else may come in the future. 

Parent resources:

Breastfeeding Help 

Employer resources: 

Corporate Lactation Services 


Studies related to the effectiveness of supplements for increasing supply: 

A Review of Herbal and Pharmaceutical Galactagogues for Breast-Feeding


Do Supplements Really Work to Increase Milk Supply 


Breastfeeding Mothers’ Consumption and Perceived Efficacy of Foods, Beverages, and Herbal Supplements to Increase Milk Supply Are herbal supplements safe and effective for increasing breastmilk supply?


More studies are needed to provide specific evidence of effectiveness, but strong anecdotal evidence exists to support traditionally recognized galactagogues, which are generally well tolerated with low side effects or risk to mom and/or baby. 


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