Health unit offers advice for families affected by infant formula shortage
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is offering advice on safe feeding alternative for infants affected by supply issues of some hypoallergenic infant formulas in Canada.
The health unit says regular infant formulas are not impacted and only specialized hypoallergenic formulas that are recommended for babies with severe or multiple allergies are affected by the shortage.
Given the circumstances, some families may look for alternative sources of infant nutrition, and may benefit from the following information:
- Homemade formulas are not recommended as they may not provide the proper balance of nutrients that infants need. They may also contain ingredients and allergens or be prepared in a manner that can result in contamination by harmful bacteria that cause serious illness.
- Informal breastmilk sharing may have risks and infants who require hypoallergenic formulas may not be able to tolerate breastmilk. Sharing unprocessed breastmilk obtained from private sources is not recommended and has risks which can cause your baby to become ill, including contamination from allergens, viruses, bacteria, medications or drugs.
- (Re)lactation may be an option for some families and parents should consult with their healthcare provider first about whether (re)lactation is an option and how to access help including intensive lactation consultation, including support from a nutritionist and/or registered dietitian.
If you use hypoallergenic infant formula and are unable to find it for purchase or have questions, contact your healthcare provider for information about alternative feeding solutions best suited to your child’s needs. Information is also available on the health unit website or by calling Health Connection at 1-877-721-7520.