Iowa mother feels impact of formula shortage

Grace Smith, Managing Editor

The combination of COVID-19-related supply shortages and a recall from a manufacturing plant in Michigan that provided a large portion of formula caused a nationwide baby formula shortage, and parents are scared. Iowa mother, Alexandra Frost, and her son, Mason, have been affected by the baby formula shortage.

Mason goes through one can about every two days. His formula costs around $25 a can, costing Alexandra about $100 a week. Right now, Alexandra has family members shipping formula cans that they find to her home in Iowa City from states including Florida, Arizona, and Kansas. 

“The world should not be working like this,” Alexandra said. 

Mason is 14 months old and was born at 29 weeks, or 11 weeks early. He was born with brain damage and has cerebral palsy. Mason also has stomach issues and has switched baby formulas five different times to find one that doesn’t upset his stomach. 

“It’s really a hit or miss when it comes to formula,” Alexandra said. 

Alexandra said she could not provide enough breast milk for that to be a source of food for Mason, so needs the formula to be able to feed her son. 

Before heading out to stores, Alexandra checks websites, apps, and even calls grocery stores to see if they have the formula made for sensitive stomachs that Mason uses. She said she sometimes calls about 10 stores before one store says they have a can or two. 

Alexandra worries for all parents struggling with the shortage when trying to feed their kids. 

“And it gets to the point where it’s like, what are we supposed to feed our kids?”

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