Posts Tagged ‘infants’

You would have to live in a bubble to have missed that there is a national shortage of infant formula. Stock on formula moved below normal during the pandemic and is now even lower due to a manufacturing plant closure. With these shortages, many parents or caregivers are rightfully concerned about feeding their children.

Nutrition during the first year of an infant’s life is critical. Most will triple their weight during this time and need essential nutrients for optimum growth. Breast milk is considered the best source of nutrition for babies, as it naturally contains the nutrients that a baby needs for early growth and development. And, breastfeeding is good for moms, too! But, many families end up using formula at some point in the first year, often due to special needs of the infant. Thankfully, infant formula is fortified to contain nutrients found in breastmilk like essential fatty acids, vitamins, zinc, protein, and even probiotics. If the infant formula shortage is impacting those you love, what can you do?

  • First, talk to your physician to see if they have samples or can suggest a switch to a more available formula brand. Or, if you child is approaching their first birthday, see if they would advise an earlier move to whole milk.baby bottle
  • Connect with community agencies like WIC, Community Action, the United Way, or a Food Bank to see if they have formula available for you to use.
  • Contact the manufacturer directly to see if they can send you formula or direct you to a supplier.
  • Use social media sources like parent’s groups or notify your friends or family so they know the brand and type you are looking for.
  • Try sources like the new Find My Baby Formula online system created by a new father who was struggling to find the formula his son needed. Fortunately, he is a computer programmer who could create a program to monitor markets and notify parents when and where supplies are available.
  • Always make formula as directed by the manufacturer. Do not water it down or try to make your own.
  • Always prepare bottles with clean hands and feeding supplies.
  • Buy what you need, but do not hoard formula; by hoarding, you just contribute to the problem.

While researching this topic I reached out to several families with infants as well as friends in the child nutrition field. While most said they had not personally had problems finding what their child needed, they did know of others who had reported difficulties. Hopefully the formula airlifts by the government and industry changes will prevent future problems for families. We all want lots of happy, healthy babies.

Writer: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County, barlage.7@osu.edu.

Reviewer: Jenny Lobb, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, lobb.3@osu.edu.

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What is CHD?



February is not only a time to celebrate love and Valentine’s Day with hearts, it is a time to raise awareness of Congenital Heart Defects and Diseases. Two years ago, I would have let February pass by like any other month, with the exception of flowers and candy from my husband. However, everything changed in the summer of 2018 when I was pregnant with our son. The day we heard our doctor say what no parent ever should have to hear, “We can’t see a clear picture of his heart”. After weeks of tests and ultrasounds, he was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect (CHD) – structural deformities that are present at birth and can be “fixed” or “repaired” after birth.  There are also congenital heart diseases which also have abnormalities within the heart but have lifelong impacts; and are often more severe in nature

Once we started researching with our doctor, we learned how common CHDs were in infants. It is the most common birth defect occurring in almost 1% of births. More than 40,000 infants are born each year in the United States with a CHD.

There are many types of CHDs that range in severity. The CDC website lists information for some of the more common ones. Our son has Tetralogy of Fallot, which is one of the most common, and easiest to repair. However, it is often difficult for me to explain his diagnosis. That is why I find this website helpful.

Many of the congenital heart defects require surgery; over 25% of children will need it. Some of the defects even require it before the age of 1 year old, and/or involve multiple surgeries. Our son is the 1 in 110 that was born with a CHD, and required surgery at 3.5 months old. He continues to have complications post-surgery, even after a successful repair. CHD is something he will live with the rest of his life, as will we, and the thousands of others that have been diagnosed with them will live with them for the rest of their lives.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for CHD, but there are ways to bring awareness to these defects and their lifelong impact. If you would like to learn more or help support those with congenital heart defects, please visit the Pediatric Congenital Heart Association website.This is a great organization that provides support to local families, advocacy at the state and national level, and education to communities. There are also various organized CHD awareness walks, fundraisers, and other events throughout the year.

Another way to show care is by volunteering or giving to the closest Ronald McDonald House, many children and families with CHDs spend several months over their lifetime in the hospital. If you have friends or family that are, pregnant or planning to try to conceive encourage them to get all of their prenatal care.



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019, November 12). Specific Congenital Heart Defects. Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/heartdefects/specificdefects.html

Mended Hearts. (2020). Retrieved from Mended Hearts: https://mendedhearts.org/

Pediatric Congenital Heart Association. (2020). We are Conquering CHD. Retrieved from Pediatric Congenital Heart Association: https://www.conqueringchd.org/

Written by: Bridget Britton MSW, LSW Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension, Carroll County

Reviewed by: Emilee Drerup  MPH, CHES Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension, Hancock County

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