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Desperate moms search for baby formula, risk scams in the process

Formula shortage
Posted at 10:47 AM, Jun 09, 2022

CINCINNATI — Despite moves to increase the supply of baby formula, families are still expected to feel the struggle for months, which continues to put some of the most vulnerable babies at risk.

For new mom Jade Minton, the saying “desperate times call for desperate measures” couldn’t be more true.

Jade's daughter, Vivian, was born premature at 35 weeks and weighed just three pounds. Though she was premature, she only needed a little help in the NICU for three weeks.

Jade had to use Enfacare formula to get extra calories alongside breastfeeding.

While scouring online and in-store for the formula, Jade said she saw a woman on Facebook offering cans for $10 each — she thought that was a deal.

Jade said she drove an hour to pick up the formula, only to realize it was the sample size that you often get for free from a subscription or doctor's office.

Though it's technically not illegal to re-sell baby formula or the sample cans, Jade believes it’s absolutely not right.

“It's disgusting to me honestly,” Jade said.“Even if you've never personally experienced struggle, how you can take from people who are worse off than you?”

Jade said she uses WIC — the Women, Infants and Children program — to get formula when she can, but she’s often buying out-of-pocket now when she see’s it’s available somewhere.

“I’m not in a great position, I should be selling these cans to get extra money, but I'm not because there is an epidemic right now with not being able to find formula for your babies," she said.

Abbott, the manufacturer of almost half of the powdered baby formula made in the United States, did reopen its Michigan plant this week.

Despite this, experts warn it could be weeks — even months — before you start seeing plentiful amounts on the shelves.

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