Baby Formula Shortage…?

Ah_Tibor

Pelican
Woman
Orthodox
Whenever my elderly mother goes to a doctor or hospital due to a serious illness, she will call them out - i.e., "You sucks at your job; you don't know what you are doing/talking about." - if they can't figure out why she's sick (i.e., extreme stomach pains).

Something about slavs and doctors hahaha.

My mom had to go on a blood thinner and had 21 nose bleeds, so she just started taking more garlic instead. Her doctor is like "well, that's... fine"

Technocrats save the day!
 

Starlight

Kingfisher
Woman
Protestant
Whenever my elderly mother goes to a doctor or hospital due to a serious illness, she will call them out - i.e., "You sucks at your job; you don't know what you are doing/talking about." - if they can't figure out why she's sick (i.e., extreme stomach pains).

Edit.


Biden Admin blaming Putin for the formula shortage in 3… 2… 1…
 

Starlight

Kingfisher
Woman
Protestant
It appears the shortage is partially due to a massive recall of contaminated formula back in February that may be linked to Salmonella and infant Cronobacter infections… nice… Apparently, the whole manufacturing plant (the largest one in the US) was shut down because of this for the investigation.
The FDA is advising consumers not to use recalled Similac, Alimentum, or EleCare powdered infant formulas.
Recalled powdered infant formulas have the potential to be contaminated with Cronobacter, a bacterium that can cause severe foodborne illness primarily in infants. Cronobacter infections are rare but are especially high risk for newborn infants (see symptoms below). Cronobacter bacteria can cause severe, life-threatening infections (sepsis) or meningitis (an inflammation of the membranes that protect the brain and spine). Symptoms of sepsis and meningitis may include poor feeding, irritability, temperature changes, jaundice (yellow skin and whites of the eyes), grunting breaths, and abnormal body movements. Cronobacter infection may also cause bowel damage and may spread through the blood to other parts of the body.
 
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MartyMcFly

Pelican
Other Christian
I found this odd. Is this because women in the Pacific coastal states have better diets? If 90% of mothers in the entire nation breastfed their kids (assuming 90% of mothers are physically capable of doing so), this would likely end the baby formula shortage. Also, it is interesting that teenage mothers are less capable of breastfeeding their kids vs. mothers over 30. I would have guessed the inverse to be true.

Of course, this website is biased in favor of breastfeeding. I assume executives for Gerber and doctors on their payroll would have different ideas about formula vs. breast milk.


  • California, Oregon and Washington have the highest rates, with 90+% of their moms breastfeeding.
  • Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas and Alabama have the lowest, with just around 50-60% of moms opting to breastfeed.
  • 57% of lower-income moms breastfeed while 74% of higher-income moms do so
  • 75% of moms age 30 and older breastfeed while just 43% of teen moms do.
 

Pray_Everyday

Sparrow
Woman
Other Christian
Contaminated formula seems to have just been an excuse to shut down the plant, as no evidence was found at the plant of the specific bacterium in question.

In February, the FDA warned parents not to use certain popular powdered infant formulas manufactured at Abbott’s Sturgis plant after receiving four reports of infants who were hospitalized with bacterial infections after consuming formula from the facility. Two of the infants died.
Abbott subsequently issued a recall of all potentially affected products manufactured at the facility and the FDA later shut down the plant after federal safety inspectors found Abbott failed to maintain sanitary conditions and procedures at the facility.
Last month, however, the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told NBC News none of the bacterial strains taken at the Abbott plant matched those collected from the infants, and the agencies haven’t offered an explanation for how the contamination occured.
For its part, Abbott says its formula “is not likely the source of infection,” though the FDA says its investigation continues.
Abbott Labs shared the following as reported at the Detroit Free Press:

“The facts about what was learned about the cases of Cronobacter have not been widely communicated,” the release stated. “After a thorough review of all available data, there is no evidence to link our formulas to these infant illnesses.”

The company stated:

  • Abbott conducts microbiological testing on products prior to distribution and no Abbott formula distributed to consumers tested positive for Cronobacter sakazakii or Salmonella.
  • All finished product testing by Abbott and the FDA during inspection of the facility came back negative for Cronobacter and/or Salmonella. No Salmonella was found at the Sturgis facility.
  • The Cronobacter sakazakii that was found in environmental testing during the investigation was in non-product contact areas of the facility and has not been linked to any known infant illness. Specifically: Genetic sequencing on the two available samples from ill infants did not match strains of Cronobacter in our plant. Samples from ill infants did not match each other, meaning there was no connection between the two cases.
  • In all four cases, the state, FDA, and/or CDC tested samples of the Abbott formula that was used by the child. In all four cases, all unopened containers tested negative.
  • Open containers from the homes of the infants were also tested in three of the four cases; two of the three tested negative. The one positive was from an open container from the home of the infant, and it tested positive for two different strains of Cronobacter sakazakii, one of which matched the strain that caused the infant’s infection, and the other matched a strain found on a bottle of distilled water in the home used to mix the formula. Again, neither strain matched strains found in our plant.
  • The infants consumed four different types of our formula made over the course of nearly a year and the illnesses took place over several months in three different states.



If 90% of mothers in the entire nation breastfed their kids (assuming 90% of mothers are physically capable of doing so), this would likely end the baby formula shortage.

Even if 90% of mothers are physically capable, many can't because of other factors such as returning to work to jobs that are not compatible with pumping, working from home, or taking the baby with them. I know the consensus on this forum is that women shouldn't work after having children, but that doesn't erase the fact that a large number of women will return to the workplace after childbirth, possibly due to insufficient family income. There's a reason why women who tend to breastfeed for longer duration are of a higher income bracket.

(Not trying to turn this into a debate about social class, privilege, or family leave, but these families do exist and these parents have to feed their children.)

Also, it is interesting that teenage mothers are less capable of breastfeeding their kids vs. mothers over 30. I would have guessed the inverse to be true.

It's not that teenagers are less capable of it, just that less of them actually do. The women over 30 tend to fall into the category of higher income and willing to research the benefits, while the teenagers may just do what is perceived as "easier" or what is familiar to them.

this website is biased in favor of breastfeeding. I assume executives for Gerber and doctors on their payroll would have different ideas about formula

As it was mentioned earlier in the thread, in the last few years doctors have really been pushing breastfeeding (for whatever reason it may be).

Anecdotally, the benefits may be exaggerated (I've met sickly and allergic exclusively breastfed babies, and healthy formula fed babies), but the ingredients lists of the formula was enough motivation for me to put in the effort. And of course, washing bottles is no fun, some babies will refuse to drink out of bottles, and nursing them is an easy way to get them to sleep. Those were benefits for me!
 

Starlight

Kingfisher
Woman
Protestant
Contaminated formula seems to have just been an excuse to shut down the plant, as no evidence was found at the plant of the specific bacterium in question.
Yeah, that definitely seems like an “official statement” kind of excuse. The plant has been shut down since February and no one expected a shortage? Doubtful. They want panicking parents to beg for an “alternative”.
Even if 90% of mothers are physically capable, many can't because of other factors such as returning to work to jobs that are not compatible with pumping, working from home, or taking the baby with them. I know the consensus on this forum is that women shouldn't work after having children, but that doesn't erase the fact that a large number of women will return to the workplace after childbirth, possibly due to insufficient family income. There's a reason why women who tend to breastfeed for longer duration are of a higher income bracket.
California has many pro-breastfeeding laws. For example, most businesses are required to make accommodations for women to pump milk and sometimes even nurse their babies while at work. Many also have to give at least four months paid maternity leave. There’s also lots of free lactation support services, the hospitals lend out medical/hospital grade pumps, etc.
 

IconWriter

Woodpecker
Woman
Orthodox
Gold Member
From The Babylon Bee...

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Or disguise themselves as illegals entering the country....
 

Pray_Everyday

Sparrow
Woman
Other Christian
California has many pro-breastfeeding laws. For example, most businesses are required to make accommodations for women to pump milk and sometimes even nurse their babies while at work. Many also have to give at least four months paid maternity leave. There’s also lots of free lactation support services, the hospitals lend out medical/hospital grade pumps, etc.

Not trying to be argumentative here, but the truth is the truth (regardless of how unpopular) and this is a topic I've spent many hours researching.

In the United States as a whole, in order to be covered under FMLA (unpaid family leave and job protection) a business must have a minimum of 50 employees if it is private sector, or be a government employer or school. Women who work for companies or small businesses that don't meet this criteria have employers who do not have to give ANY leave (paid or unpaid), or hold a woman's job for her to return to after the baby. They can choose to, but are under no obligation. Something like 40 percent of the American workforce doesn't qualify for FMLA.

I personally know women that have had to return to work less than a month after giving birth, some still bleeding.


Commiefornia  does have much more liberal laws regarding this matter. In that state, businesses with less than 5 employees do not have to give the women any of the rights listed under FMLA, which is an improvement over 50 employees, but still does not apply to all working women.

Even if the employer is required to give the women leave (and job protection), they are not required to give paid leave unless they normally pay for leave for other health conditions.


Regarding pumping at work, if the job claims that it presents an undue hardship (that 50 employee limit again) they can refuse accommodations. Even if required to provide accomodations, pumping breaks are limited in duration to half an hour or break times which is not enough time for all women to empty out all their milk (I personally took longer than that to get more than a couple ounces, at home, with a hospital grade pump). And the hospitals are not lending out those wearable hands-free pumps that fit inside a bra either, but big bulky ones. And even though the law may say that women get a free pump through their insurance, good luck actually getting it despite calling repeatedly and getting the runaround.




The fact of the matter is that many working women, especially in jobs that are not white collar/professional, are simply not able to maintain milk supply and completely avoid formula use. This leads to mostly higher income women (who get a benefits package with paid/longer term leave, or are able to quit their job altogether), being able to breastfeed in larger numbers, which was the issue I was originally adressing in my previous post.
 
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Starlight

Kingfisher
Woman
Protestant
Not trying to be argumentative here, but the truth is the truth (regardless of how unpopular) and this is a topic I've spent many hours researching.

In the United States as a whole, in order to be covered under FMLA (unpaid family leave and job protection) a business must have a minimum of 50 employees if it is private sector, or be a government employer or school. Women who work for companies or small businesses that don't meet this criteria have employers who do not have to give ANY leave (paid or unpaid), or hold a woman's job for her to return to after the baby. They can choose to, but are under no obligation. Something like 40 percent of the American workforce doesn't qualify for FMLA.

I personally know women that have had to return to work less than a month after giving birth, some still bleeding.


Commiefornia  does have much more liberal laws regarding this matter. In that state, businesses with less than 5 employees do not have to give the women any of the rights listed under FMLA, which is an improvement over 50 employees, but still does not apply to all working women.

Even if the employer is required to give the women leave (and job protection), they are not required to give paid leave unless they normally pay for leave for other health conditions.


Regarding pumping at work, if the job claims that it presents an undue hardship (that 50 employee limit again) they can refuse accommodations. Even if required to provide accomodations, pumping breaks are limited in duration to half an hour or break times which is not enough time for all women to empty out all their milk (I personally took longer than that to get more than a couple ounces, at home, with a hospital grade pump). And the hospitals are not lending out those wearable hands-free pumps that fit inside a bra either, but big bulky ones. And even though the law may say that women get a free pump through their insurance, good luck actually getting it despite calling repeatedly and getting the runaround.



My response was regarding why women in Pacific Coastal States might be more likely to breastfeed which seems to be because of their pro-breastfeeding workplace regulations… These regulations effect the majority of employers… I live in California which is why I used it as an example because I already know the laws here…
The fact of the matter is that many working women, especially in jobs that are not white collar/professional, are simply not able to maintain milk supply and completely avoid formula use. This leads to mostly higher income women (who get a benefits package with paid/longer term leave, or are able to quit their job altogether), being able to breastfeed in larger numbers, which was the issue I was originally adressing in my previous post.
The statistics don’t lie. Somehow 90% of California mothers manage to breastfeed their babies despite having the highest US population living in poverty.
 

Pray_Everyday

Sparrow
Woman
Other Christian
My response was regarding why women in Pacific Coastal States might be more likely to breastfeed which seems to be because of their pro-breastfeeding workplace regulations… These regulations effect the majority of employers… I live in California which is why I used it as an example because I already know the laws here…

The statistics don’t lie. Somehow 90% of California mothers manage to breastfeed their babies despite having the highest US population living in poverty.

You are correct that California has the highest rate at women trying breastfeeding at least once at 90%, the figure you quoted, but at 3 months it's 51% and at 6 months the rate is down to 24% for exclusively breastfeeding no supplementing (or 58% for breastfeeding at all, if you prefer to look at that figure). This means anywhere from 49% to 75% of women will need to supplement with either formula or donated milk at some point before the baby is weaned.

As most women give birth at a hospital (and hospitals strongly encourage breastfeeding), breastfeeding the baby at least once, as the 90% figure indicates, does not have any bearing on these women's poverty level. This doesn't change the fact that as time progresses many (at some point the majority) of women will supplement. While California may have one of the highest rates of women technically breastfeeding once, it also has one of the highest rates of babies given formula before they're two days old.


I would prefer to not link the cdc directly, but I can assure you the figures are comparable to those I quoted above and the link I posted. If you have data or a link that shows the majority of women do not need to supplement at all throughout the baby's first year, regardless of state, please share.

My original statement, that many women don't/can't breastfeed (for the duration of infancy, not just once) because of a variety of factors, including economic, still stands.

Most women will find themselves needing to at least supplement, and so the shortage of formula is a relevant issue (as per my original response regarding there being no shortage if 90% of women breastfed).

Even if 90% of mothers are physically capable, many can't because of other factors such as returning to work to jobs that are not compatible with pumping, working from home, or taking the baby with them. I know the consensus on this forum is that women shouldn't work after having children, but that doesn't erase the fact that a large number of women will return to the workplace after childbirth, possibly due to insufficient family income. There's a reason why women who tend to breastfeed for longer duration are of a higher income bracket.

(Not trying to turn this into a debate about social class, privilege, or family leave, but these families do exist and these parents have to feed their children.)


The implication that mothers who didn't "manage to" breastfeed their babies somehow didn't try hard enough is ridiculous. Some women's circumstances make it impossible, if even in California with these laws the number is down to a quarter of women breastfeeding exclusively at 6 months.
 

Starlight

Kingfisher
Woman
Protestant
You are correct that California has the highest rate at women trying breastfeeding at least once at 90%, the figure you quoted, but at 3 months it's 51% and at 6 months the rate is down to 24% for exclusively breastfeeding no supplementing (or 58% for breastfeeding at all, if you prefer to look at that figure). This means anywhere from 49% to 75% of women will need to supplement with either formula or donated milk at some point before the baby is weaned.

As most women give birth at a hospital (and hospitals strongly encourage breastfeeding), breastfeeding the baby at least once, as the 90% figure indicates, does not have any bearing on these women's poverty level. This doesn't change the fact that as time progresses many (at some point the majority) of women will supplement. While California may have one of the highest rates of women technically breastfeeding once, it also has one of the highest rates of babies given formula before they're two days old.


I would prefer to not link the cdc directly, but I can assure you the figures are comparable to those I quoted above and the link I posted. If you have data or a link that shows the majority of women do not need to supplement at all throughout the baby's first year, regardless of state, please share.

My original statement, that many women don't/can't breastfeed (for the duration of infancy, not just once) because of a variety of factors, including economic, still stands.

Most women will find themselves needing to at least supplement, and so the shortage of formula is a relevant issue (as per my original response regarding there being no shortage if 90% of women breastfed).




The implication that mothers who didn't "manage to" breastfeed their babies somehow didn't try hard enough is ridiculous. Some women's circumstances make it impossible, if even in California with these laws the number is down to a quarter of women breastfeeding exclusively at 6 months.
I agree, the rates of breastfeeding are abysmal across the country. I think, when it comes to breastmilk, some is better than none and women should be encouraged to breastfeed for as long as they can with formula being an absolute last resort. I also believe, in my opinion, many women do give up on breastfeeding/pumping (or don’t even try), for whatever reason, because it can be really challenging and hard and formula is easy and convenient.
 

ChristFollower1111

Sparrow
Woman
Orthodox Inquirer
Below picture was taken by a border agent at the U.S. border's Ursula Processing Center. Note the baby formula on the shelf.

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Sources






Say what you will about Trump, but this never ever in a million years would’ve happened with his administration. Yet dummies continue to defend Bumbling Biden. I’m part of a local community page on Facebook where yesterday a young 20-something mom posted about needing a special type of formula for her baby and she wanted to know if anyone had any or knew where to find some. Among the people commenting about where she might try to go, a guy commented about this particular situation- stating how disgusting it is that moms at home can’t find formula, but this is going on at the border. The girl’s response was to lambast him for posting “hate” on her post, saying she won’t tolerate it.

Some people deserve what they get, I’m telling you. The baby doesn’t deserve it, of course, but so many Americans have lost any sense of self preservation and dignity. It’s hard to believe it’s come to this. In America today, there are mothers with hungry babies who are praising this news. I guess the herd culls itself. Absolute shame.
 

Kitty Tantrum

Kingfisher
Woman
Catholic
This is a good lesson in not relying on complex modern systems without grave need.

Most mothers I know who have given formula to their babies did not NEED to. It's a notion MANY people have been effectively conditioned to be emotionally resistant to ("how dare you suggest I didn't try hard enough"), but the fact is that the vast majority of babies on formula are on it because it was there as an acceptable option and not because the baby or mother would have suffered ill health without it. It is merely a TRIAL which they avoided (discomfort/suffering) -- and many are seeing now that the potential alternate cost which has already been given ample demonstration in developing countries (parents having to find work-arounds and babies possibly going hungry due to issues with availability or safety of powdered formulas) is VERY MUCH applicable to them as well, in spite of all their trappings of first-world comfort and convenience.

It's a darned shame.

But I've never believed that NESTLE (or any other "brand") has any remarkable ability to develop and produce healthy baby formula.

It might end up being a pretty big eye-opener to a lot of women when they realize that the "formula" they can make at home with stuff from the grocery store makes their babies thrive just fine and doesn't make their poops stink as bad.
 

Ah_Tibor

Pelican
Woman
Orthodox
I agree, the rates of breastfeeding are abysmal across the country. I think, when it comes to breastmilk, some is better than none and women should be encouraged to breastfeed for as long as they can with formula being an absolute last resort. I also believe, in my opinion, many women do give up on breastfeeding/pumping (or don’t even try), for whatever reason, because it can be really challenging and hard and formula is easy and convenient.

I think it's hard psychologically/emotionally for some women-- suddenly one's body becomes a food source, one undergoes physical changes, mood changes with milk production etc.

My mom and grandma breastfed (I also had goat milk after weaning because lactose doesn't like me, my mom also had goat milk as a kid [pun]) so I never thought I'd do differently, but the beginning was a little rough and I can see how some women either give up or think they're failing.

Going back to work in the early months just seems counter-productive. Not doing formula, disposable diapers, or daycare saved us a bundle.
 
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