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'You don't know how you're going to feed your baby': Central Georgia parents struggle to find formula

A nationwide baby formula shortage has moms struggling to figure out how to feed their little ones.

MACON, Ga. — Parents across the U.S. and in Central Georgia are seeing a shortage of baby formula. What started as a pandemic supply and demand issue has turned into a lot more. 

In February, the FDA recalled baby formula from a plant in Michigan. The manufacturer Abbott, which sell brands like Similac and Elecare, had to stop some of their supply sells.

"It's really scary," said Sierra Lewis.

Lewis is a mom to her 11-month-old son, Bohdi. She says she had a hard time finding baby formula and she knows other moms who are struggling to find it.

"We see these women come in and you can see it in their face."

Brands like Similac and Enfamil have disappeared from the shelves. Pediatric specialist at Primary Pediatrics in Macon Dr. Lance Slade says diluting baby formula will cause health complications but there are resources.

"We're a team in this in trying to help them. If it's samples that we have, we give those out. Knowing stores that have it right now, it's a cool collective. Online and digital world has been great --- and these mom marketplaces, mom Facebook groups or things like that sometimes get out the information as well, " Dr. Slade said.

The short supply started back in 2020. When the FDA recalled formula from the plant in Michigan, this made the shortage worse. Slade says having samples is good to have in the meantime.

"But at this point, sometimes it's like, "Hey, we're out. Can you help us?" And, sure thing, we'll step up and help that way, too."

Similac has a formula finder where you can find formula available. Lewis says she's glad her son is close to transitioning to regular milk, but she feels for other moms.

"Us moms have to work together at the end of the day. We need to help these babies and get them fed," Lewis said.

Georgia Senator Jon Ossoff and 31 other senators have sent a letter to the president of the Infant Nutrition Council of America urging for increased production.