NYC pediatrician Dyan Hes shares ways to get through baby formula shortage

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  NYC pediatrician Dyan Hes shares ways to get through baby formula shortage

Dr. Dyan Hes, a pediatrician in New York City, joined “Fox and Friends Weekend” on Saturday to discuss today’s baby formula shortage — and to share ways for parents to get through this shortage.



Her office, she said, participates in telemedicine — and she noted that roughly half the queries today are about the baby formula shortage.



She acknowledged that some parents “are freaking out” about it.



“This is a real fear” among parents today, she said, about their ability to find enough baby formula to feed their infants.



The best thing for parents to do is calm down — including for the baby’s sake, she said. 



Dr. Hes, who is affiliated with multiple hospitals in New York City, also said that a lot of moms that her practice sees are nursing their babies as well as feeding formula to their infants — but that many are also solely feeding formula.



Baby Formula shelves are almost empty with signs limiting purchases at a grocery store in Boston, May 15, 2022. Dyan Hes, a NYC pediatrician, says she understands parents are anxious about the problem right now.Baby Formula shelves are almost empty with signs limiting purchases at a grocery store in Boston, May 15, 2022. Dyan Hes, a NYC pediatrician, says she understands parents are anxious about the problem right now.Stephen Shaver/ZUMA Press Wire



Parents should visit the small mom-and-pop shops or bodegas in their cities or areas to find formula supplies, not just shop the big-box stores, she said.



She also said that she’s heard, via Abbott, “that the Instacart app” is actually the best app to find baby formula.



Other suggestions include logging onto Costco, Walmart and other big-box stores’ websites to see what’s available there — and keeping on top of the supply in terms of ordering promptly.



In addition, she said, reaching out to pediatricians’ offices about formula is smart for parents to do.



Her office recently received a supply of baby formula, she said. And “I’ve been calling families who need formula and having them come pick it up at our office.”



Also, she said, families should be more “flexible about the brand,” she said.



They can get “very fixated” on a specific brand, she said — but “for the most part, the majority of babies can tolerate most general formulas,” she advised.



The shelves at the Walgreens on 3rd Ave and 65th St., NYC, remain empty of baby formula as the nation falls into another empty shelf crisis. Dyan Hes recommends parents look to small mom-and-pop shops for formula, besides just big-box stores.The shelves at the Walgreens on 3rd Ave and 65th St., NYC, remain empty of baby formula as the nation falls into another empty shelf crisis. Dyan Hes recommends parents look to small mom-and-pop shops for formula, besides just big-box stores.Matthew McDermott



Mostly empty shelves are shown on the left, while two cans of Enfamil infant formula — snagged by a lucky parent — are seen at right. “Do not dilute the formula,” advised Dr. Dyan Hes of New York City. 



In terms of other advice to parents of babies, she said that doctors are saying now that if a baby is over 6 months old, “it’s OK if you find toddler formula — that’s a little bit easier to find” right now on the market, she said — “and you can use that temporarily” until more baby formula comes onto the market.



Again, always wise for parents to check with their doctors first. 



She also said that if a baby is over 9 months old, parents can consider switching to whole milk plus an appropriate vitamin with iron — but that they should consult with their pediatrician about it first.



She also said, “Do not dilute the formula.” 



This is very dangerous for babies, she said, “and can lead to seizures.”



And “don’t do homemade” formulas, she also said.



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