Salem Health Statement on Formula Shortage

Posted on May 19, 2022

Salem Health – 05/18/22 8:16 AM

Salem Health is committed to the health of you and your family. Many are impacted by the widespread baby formula shortage, stemming from the Abbott Nutrition recall of several types of regular and special-needs formula due to contamination, and compounding supply shortages due to COVID-19 supply chain issues. While efforts are now underway to replenish baby formula supply, some level of scarcity may remain for two or more months. Salem Health’s team of neonatologists, pediatricians and other providers have established recommendations to help families through this time: 


  • Do not dilute formula beyond the manufacturer’s instructions. Babies can develop severe electrolyte imbalances and malnutrition, which can lead to serious health issues. 
  • Do not make homemade formulas based on Internet recipes, due to serious concerns about sterility and nutritional content with these recipes. Uncommon but serious side effects like brain swelling and nutritional deficiencies are more common when babies are not fed formula that is mixed and prepared correctly. 
  • Do not refrigerate leftover formula once your baby drinks from a bottle; discard the unused portion.

Options for powdered formula: 

  • If you are experiencing difficulty finding the specific brand you prefer for your child’s formula, all FDA-approved infant formulas are nutritionally similar and can be interchanged (e.g., Gerber, Earth’s Best, Enfamil, Kirkland, Target). WIC Oregon has provided a list of temporary choices for powdered formula. 
  • Exceptions are specialty formulas such as amino acid, hydrolyzed and preemie formulas. 
  • Toddler formula and whole cow’s milk are not the same nutritionally as infant formula, but may be acceptable in older infants. Check with your child’s health care provider before switching. 
  • Infants six months and older who are eating solid food will not require as much formula. Focus on meals and snacks for their nutrition. 


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