LAKE JACKSON, Texas — Emily Stanley had to take off work on Monday so that she could drive around and search for baby formula.
“It's just insane. As if a pandemic wasn't enough, now there's no formula,” Stanley said.
The Lake Jackson, Texas mom said she drove an hour away to Galveston and bought what she could find.
Friends in Stanley’s hometown of Waxahachie are also looking for formula and mailing it to Lake Jackson.
“She shipped it to me in wine boxes,” Stanley said of her friend, Leah. “People steal packages anyway even if they don't know what's in it. We just didn't want it to be recognized.”
Data shows the baby formula shortage is not improving. According to retail data company, Datasembly, more than half of the baby formula supply in six states including Texas was completely sold out in April.
Due to a major voluntary recall of three popular baby formula brands in February, supply chain experts believe it could be six months before things get close to back to normal.
“The demand was increasing; supply was suddenly cut short, right? So when there is that mismatch between the supply and demand, this was just disaster waiting to happen,” Sree Bhaskaran of SMU’s Cox School of Business said.
So, what can parents do?
Be careful shopping for formula online, Cook Children’s pediatrician Dr. Alice Phillips said.
“We don't want them to be buying formula online from an unreputable source where it could be a counterfeit formula,” Dr. Phillips said.
The North Texas doctor doesn’t recommend making your own formula either.
“That's really high risk and makes me as a pediatrician very anxious because we don't know if they're going to get all of those components correct, if it is going to be sterile, if it's going to be safe,” Dr. Phillips said.
The best advice? Give your pediatrician a call.
“We have a lot of connections,” Dr. Phillips. “We have relationships with formula reps that we can get formula in that we need it.”