Parenting

Taking Baby Formula From A Total Stranger? Yes, It Has Come To That.

As the baby formula shortage continues, moms are doing what we do best — having each other’s backs.

by Team Scary Mommy
Shelves are empty as Natalia Restrepo, 29, a member of La Colaborativa, gathers formula supplies for...
JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP/Getty Images

From Nextdoor and group chats to FB and Twitter, there are threads with moms offering up extra formula stock and even unused breast milk. While there is nothing better than a fierce community of moms, we asked experts about the safety of not knowing the backstory of your formula supply. In the first-ever parent briefing at the White House (yes, things are so bad for moms right now, they invited us in for an official update), Admiral Dr. Rachel L. Levine, M.D., explained how to navigate getting formula from someone you don’t know.

Like anything, the main message here from Levine is to use common sense with a side of listening to your gut. Another pro tip she shared was when receiving a case of formula, to check that the expiry dates and lot numbers all match. As you open sealed containers, check for anything that looks or smells off. This is a good practice to do anytime, even when using formula purchased in store. Ugh. Yes, it has come to that.

In a bright spot in a conversation about the plagued state of formula in the USA, Levine also dropped some reminders for how dads can help during the formula crisis (hint: it involves doing laundry). Prompted by a question from Jared Warner, creator from the popular @TheDad account, Levine gave the partners a little nudge. Not that dads doing their fair share wasn’t an obvious expectation, but we are all for it being repeated as many times as necessary. Yes, it has come to that. Here is the clip you may want to “accidentally” play at full volume for everyone around you to hear:

It feels rough, but the feds are using all their power to put the formula shortage to an end. As of June 19, 10 international shipments of formula have been flown in from overseas, totalling 13 million 8-ounce bottles of formula. Unfortunately, the president can’t stop the rain, which caused the Abbott factory to close down right after it re-opened. Universe, are you serious? Watch the press conference here to get the full update on formula and vaccines for kids under age 5 from Dr. Ashish Jha, M.D., White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator.

So good luck out there on the corner copping a can of Enfamil from a mom who is a semi-stranger. While you are there, ask her if she’s got a dusty tampon rolling around in the bottom of her bag. You might need it. Yes, it has come to that.