X Post: Baby Formula Shortage Explained

PucksFool suggested I bring this over here for you folks to see too:

It’s a quick, informative look at the baby formula oligopoly in America by someone who was “there” when two companies realized how to cheaply hook expectant mothers on one of two brands of Baby Formula. After reading the short thread, there are responses shedding more light on how this shortage has come to be and even a link to a newer line of baby formula which might be better than the two “bigs” in question:

https://discussion.fool.com/the-baby-formula-shortage-explained-…

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The amazing thing is that every mom is provided with two baby food factories, free. Pumps have been available for at least thirty years.

Steve

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Yeah, my wife had trouble lactating four our adopted child. My single parent cousin had trouble getting her milk in her babies mouths while working 9-5 to keep them in cloths and a house. Everything is easy if you’ve never had to go it.

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Yeah, my wife had trouble lactating four our adopted child. My single parent cousin had trouble getting her milk in her babies mouths while working 9-5 to keep them in cloths and a house. Everything is easy if you’ve never had to go it.

While the problem is very serious for those living with it, your nice neighbours north to the border seem to have been more proactive in avoiding the worst effects. Of course Canadians watch a lot of US news so a certain amount of angst can’t be avoided.

Anymouse

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https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/canada-seeing-some-baby-formul…

HEALTH News

Canada seeing some baby formula shortages, but store brands, interim policy on other imports helping

A major infant formula recall by the U.S. manufacturer of Similac has exacerbated ongoing pandemic-related supply issues for some Canadian retailers, according to the Retail Council of Canada, while other stores have generally been able to keep shelves stocked, with shortages mostly temporary.

While Canadian retailers have generally not experienced the bare shelves seen in many U.S. stores so far, some Canadian parents are nonetheless concerned about any potential impact, particularly as a number of products are specialty formulas made for infants with special dietary requirements.

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The amazing thing is that every mom is provided with two baby food factories, free. Pumps have been available for at least thirty years.

Wow. How do you, a bachelor, have any right to judge?

I was more fortunate than most, having paid maternity leave for 3 months and the ability to work from home for 3 months afterwards, financially able to take advantage of a layoff after that and be an at home mom. There was also a lactation consultant affiliated with our hospital and a nursing mom’s group that helped me figure out the proper way to breast feed, and how to deal with the searing pain and blisters from the constant use of my tender breasts. It’s not necessarily an instant intuitive process. Eldest had an incessant appetite, giving me only 2 hours from start to start over. No sleep for me, but he sure thrived. Since I occasionally had to hand the baby off to DH so I could go in for half day meetings, I pumped as well, eventually creating blocked milk ducts. If you have ever taken a kick to the crotch, I imagine the pain is comparable, but for women it lasts for days until you finally are able to relieve the blockage.

Without the proper support, it’s not surprising that many women go to formula. It’s not all pain, and nursing our children for the first 15 months was one of my greatest pleasures, even with all the dietary restrictions that came with it, but it’s not something you can go back to when you go to formula. Like any high reward thing, it takes lots of hard work and pain to get there, and without an understanding supporting partner, a financial position that allows you the freedom to nurse your child at the risk of reduced estimation by your boss, a cooperative workplace that doesn’t send you to sit on the questionable hygiene toilet in the ladies room to pump, a populace that doesn’t give you a hard time for nursing your kid in public, even when covered, it gets intolerably harder to do. Most people don’t even have half of that requirement.

IP

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Steve,

I learned at age 22 this is not my territory.

You go IP!

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My daughter was 5 weeks premature. Yes, I breastfed her; but because of her low weight she also had formula for the first six weeks.

Some women just can’t produce healthy milk. Others develop problems that force them to stop breastfeeding. Most employers don’t allow you to bring an infant to the office, and none allow babies on the assembly line! Breastfeeding is not three times a day, it is every hour or two, and it takes fifteen or twenty minutes each time. It is a full-time job, really.

When it works well, it is the best and easiest way; but when it doesn’t work, you need formula.

My mom tried everything–and I wound up (70 years ago) being fed with Pet milk and Karo syrup. I’m glad there are better alternatives now!

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Wow. How do you, a bachelor, have any right to judge?

This topic came up with my mom somewhere along the line. I was breast fed. Mom wouldn’t even consider buying formula. She did have the advantage of having quit working some time before, as dad could make enough at his office job to support her. I don’t know if pumps existed in the early 50s. Pumps were certainly a thing by the beginning of the 90s, as guys were coming into the RS looking for an AC adapter for pumps that ate batteries at an alarming rate.

but it’s not something you can go back to when you go to formula.

iirc it is Nestle that has been sued, repeatedly, especially in Africa, over their marketing tactics. Every new mom that left the hospital, or used a midwife, or any other means that Nestle could learn about, was provided with an armload of “free” samples of the company’s formula, so the new mom would use the stuff. Of course, by the time the “free” samples were used up, her own milk had dried up, so she’s stuck buying the Nestle product. A lot of women couldn’t afford it, so resorted to doing the things the US government is now telling people not to do, like diluting the formula.

Steve

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They tell us Canned milk (Pet, Carnation, Eagle Brand) was used in the days before refrigeration.

Is it suitable during the shortage?

Canned milk plus sugar will keep a baby alive, but it is missing some stuff that babies ought to have. I was fed Pet milk plus Kayro syrup because I couldn’t digest the formulas available in the 1950’s. Who knows, if I had modern formula, I might have turned out tall and smart instead of short and slightly above average.

iirc it is Nestle that has been sued, repeatedly, especially in Africa, over their marketing tactics. Every new mom that left the hospital, or used a midwife, or any other means that Nestle could learn about, was provided with an armload of “free” samples of the company’s formula, so the new mom would use the stuff.

Yup. Came in a cute little diaper bag and lots of coupons with it. I kept the diaper bag and donated the samples to a food bank. Not every mom can breast feed, not every mom survives the birthing process. There is a place for formula.

What there is no room for is being judgmental, particularly about a process you have no first hand experience with, other than having had a breast shoved in your mouth as a baby.

IP

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When he doubled down I frowny faced him. No time in my life for jerks.

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For those who can look at it without political bent,

Alot of this is law off Unintended Consequences via good intentions from all sides.

One side - put tarriffs and quotas on Canadian Dairy to bolster America’s dairy industry.

Another side - via welfare programs (WIC - google it)… allowed certain formula makers to effectively have monopolies within states.

The fun part is when the detached-from-ground-level-reality people get involved…they love doing one-size-fits-all solutions, meaning what works in Vermont somehow works in South Central LA - - yeah right ok – not to mention there’s no pilot testing and de-bugging of things.

And this - is the result of such.

…other than having had a breast shoved in your mouth as a baby.

Well there was that one time at the strip club…

But on a serious note, read an article the other day, the FDA can shoulder some of the blame. There are many European formulas that they won’t approve because of slightly different levels of iron and other vitamins. Which really don’t amount to anything of significance. So we are basically stuck with are own production.

FWIW, as far as breast feeding at work, my former hospital had a very pro-mother policy. While the nurses couldn’t bring their kids to work, they had rooms and time set aside for them to pump and store. And it was an every other hour ordeal for most. Felt really sorry for a nurse friend that scrubbed in for all the c-sections and we had one very busy very bad day. Back to back to back emergencies and someone had to come give her a break during the 3rd case because she was hurting so bad because she hadn’t been able to pump for several hours.

JLC

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www.cnn.com/2022/05/16/politics/baby-formula-testing-biden-a…
The Biden administration is confronting a barrage of questions and criticism for the national baby formula shortage that has anxious and angry parents hopping from store to store in search of baby food. The White House was unable to point to federal guidance last Thursday on what parents struggling to find formula should do, and recommended that families reach out to their doctors and pediatricians if they were worried about their babies’ health. Then on Friday, it unveiled a new website: HHS.gov/formula

A CNN reporter tested out some of those resources to try to determine how helpful they are likely to be for parents who are desperately looking to procure baby formula. The exercise resulted in apologetic customer service representatives, one hold time that lasted well over an hour, and serious challenges in finding baby formula through some of the main suggestions listed on the new HHS website.

DB2