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Has the national baby formula shortage hit Albany?

Video from WALB
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 5:56 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Many stores across the nation are now limiting how much baby formula each customer can buy because of the baby formula shortage.

But what about here in Albany?

The national shortage comes after Abbott Nutrition, a major manufacturer of baby formula, recalled some of its products back in February. This was because of at least four babies being hospitalized with bacterial infections and two babies even dying after consuming the products.

The Dougherty County Health Department said the shortage ties into an even bigger issue.

Shelves in the baby section of an Albany store.
Shelves in the baby section of an Albany store.(WALB)

“At this point, it is generally related to the food supply shortage,” Megan Herendeen, health department public information officer, said. “That’s happening throughout the United States. We did see more of a shortage when there was the Abbott recall in February of this year, but at this point, it seems as though our stock here locally has recuperated from that. We’re not seeing any major shortages here in Albany at this time.”

Herendeen said people should not panic buy. She also says the city is working hard to prevent mothers across Albany from experiencing the shortage.

“Any type of shortage or inability to obtain a specific formula is identified,” she said. “The State of Georgia is working with local agencies, grocery stores, retailers and the formula manufacturers to make sure that they find a solution for people, and so far, that has been met with success.”

Phoebe officials said they have not seen an extreme shortage in Albany either.

Phoebe officials also said they are a “baby friendly” hospital, and strongly encourage all mothers who can to breastfeed. Mothers who do are less likely to have to worry about things like shortages and recalls, according to Phoebe.

Mallorie Smith is Phoebe’s lactation team leader for women and children services. Smith said...
Mallorie Smith is Phoebe’s lactation team leader for women and children services. Smith said she's had many mothers ask about information on breastfeeding since the national shortage.(WALB)

“Breastfeeding is better for lots of reasons,” said Mallorie Smith, Phoebe’s lactation team leader for women and children services. “It has benefits for mom and baby. It can help reduce cancers in mom. Breast and ovarian cancer. It can help baby in lots of different ways as far as brain growth.”

Smith said Phoebe provides many resources for mothers who would want to learn more about breastfeeding.

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