Experts warn against homemade baby formula, other alternatives

Published: May. 18, 2022 at 6:45 PM CDT
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - A formula shortage continues to impact parents nationwide, shelves here in Central Texas remain empty and moms are turning to alternative options, but not all the tips being shared online are safe like “do-it-yourself” formula and shared breast milk.

“Halfhazardly making formula can cause a lot of fluid and electrolyte imbalances,” Amy Mersiovsky, the Director of the Department of Nursing at Texas A&M Central Texas explained.

Recipes are circulating online to help parents continue feeding their kids, but Mersiovsky says making your own formula could be dangerous.

“There’s a lot of things I’m seeing out there that we should not feed babies because their digestive track is just not made to digest it. That could be really detrimental to babies,” she explained.

Formula sharing groups and online databases to track where formula is available doesn’t seem to be enough and moms are getting desperate.

Another alternative has been sharing breast milk from one family to another.

“It makes my heart skip a beat when i think about people sharing breast milk,” Mersiovsky said.

She says moms who donate breast milk through a milk bank are tested for communicable diseases that could be harmful to infants.

Sharing breast milk online between friends or neighbors comes without that security of knowing the milk doesn’t have diseases coming with it.

At their hospital Mersiovsky says she handles breastmilk like any other body fluid, and people sharing it should too.

“When I take care of a baby and have to feed them breastmilk I wear gloves. People need to be really careful with that.”

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