HANOVER, Pa. — The baby formula shortage may not be making headlines every day, but it's still an issue for parents.
February 17th will mark one year since the massive baby formula recall made things even worse.
FOX43 Finds Out how, one year later, parents are still struggling to feed their babies.
Rachael DeVore of Hanover makes about 6 to 10 bottles a day for her 4-month-old Maisie. After trying several different types of formula, Reguline was the only one that would work for her daughter. Finding it on store shelves isn't easy.
She said, "It's just this constant fear of running out and we can't switch to another one because she won't tolerate it."
The mom of two was pregnant at the peak of the baby formula shortage last spring, she said, "We thought it was going to be solved by the time Maisy was born and, of course, it just got worse."
If and when she can find the formula she needs, there are buying limits.
"We're definitely trying not to hoard, but at the same time we don't know if it's going to stay in stock," said said. Most stores only allow you to buy 4 or 5 cans or bottles a day, max.
"The Formula Mom" is helping others find equivalent formulas, but it doesn't work for everyone.
"Nobody realized, myself included, the scope of the recall at first, said Mallory Whitmore, who is known as the "Formula Mom."
She runs a website and Instagram page dedicated to teaching parents about all the ins and outs of formula feeding.
Whitmore says Abbott produces 40% of the formula that babies consume in this country, under popular brands like Similac. When the recall shut down the biggest manufacturing plant in the country, it had a ripple effect. For instance, DeVore's formula isn't made by Abbott, but it's harder to find when parents were forced to buy something else. It squeezed the market.
Whitmore says it changed buying habits. On average, The Formula Mom says people are buying 10-15% more formula than they used to for fear they won't be able to find what they need. She said, "It's hard for folks to realize that it's still as impactful as it is."
Even though operations to bring more from overseas helped parents for a while, it never filled back all the empty shots on shelves.
FOX43 Finds Out reached out to Abbott for an update on the status of manufacturing and we never heard back.
We do know there is a federal investigation into the formula recall.
There are reports a whistleblower claims Abbott employees falsified documents and covered up food safety violations from FDA inspectors before the recall.
Parents like DeVore and Whitmore say they are going to keep asking questions in the hopes something like this never happens again. Whitmore said, "I wish that moms didn't have to save the world. I was that we weren't in a position that it always comes down to a group of dedicated, angry moms to fix things."
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