Finding alternatives in the midst of the baby formula shortage, what should Kentucky do?

Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 10:23 PM EDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - With the nationwide formula shortage moms are looking for alternative ways to feed their infants. And in Kentucky, it appears to be getting worse.

More help for mothers during baby formula shortage

Senator Whitney Westerfield of Hopkinsville says he has reached out to the Beshear administration to get answers for his constituents.

The local lawmaker shared that email from Rocky Adkins on behalf of Dr. Stephen Stack.

The administration told him the Department of Health is inquiring with the USDA on a greater solution.

Westerfield says he would support a special session on the issue that focuses on solutions to combat the shortage, specifically in Kentucky and also to address how they can prevent future headaches.

“For three-fourths of the nation’s formula to be manufactured by one manufacturer and for that manufacturer to have three-fourths of the states contractually obligated to prefer it,” said Westerfield, “I think that market control is something that the legislature should probably disrupt so that we’re not facing the same sort of shortage again.”

Westerfield is raising awareness of what needs to be done to help mothers with the rising problem in the state of Kentucky.

“I would ask the Beshear administration and the Biden administration to tell us where we can get moms this formula, how much is Kentucky getting? When is it going to be distributed to us? Where will it be distributed? And how can I get the people in West Kentucky? Not to mention east, north, south, central everywhere else? Get mom’s hands on it?” said Westerfield.

WIC beneficiaries are being offered additional baby formula choices in Kentucky, but Westerfield adds that if the supply isn’t there, that doesn’t matter.

WBKO News reached out to Beshear’s office for an additional response, and to see if he plans to call a special session but have not heard back.

Meanwhile, one local lactation consultant is also helping mothers locally find resources and get connected to potential donors.

“So mom to mom, informal donation is something that you can do locally,” said Emily Kiser, Certified Breastfeeding Specialist and Newborn Care Specialist. “Of course, as with anything, I always say there are, of course, risks associated with that it’s done on an honor system.”

Kiser is also the owner of A Mother’s Village LLC and also the Facebook group Mama Well: Babies, Breastfeeding and Beyond.

In the group Kiser says breast milk cannot be sold for profit, it is all done on a free donation basis.

“Some babies do respond better to breast milk, or they have very particular formulas that they can only, you know, eat. And if those are ones that you’re not able to find then breast milk might be a better alternative for those families,” said Kiser.

Kiser also adds that she has a donation program where if you’re in need of certain supplies or you would like to donate supplies you can also do so by visiting her page by clicking here.

We reached out to Beshear’s office for additional response and to see if he plans to call a special session, but have not yet heard back.

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