• Fri. Jul 1st, 2022

Maryland mom starts online support group in response to baby food shortage | WDVM25 and DCW50

ByJulie J. Helfer

May 16, 2022

FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) – The shortage of infant formula is worrying mothers across the country.

Ariana McBride is a mom from Maryland, her baby is only a few months old. She says she spent months trying different formulas and finally found the one her baby loves.

“We went through five formulas until we found the one that worked for him. And unfortunately, with the shortage, it’s hard to find,” said

According to Datasemly, more than 40% of infant formula is out of stock in the United States. This comes after Abbott Nutrition, a major infant formula production plant in Michigan, closed in February due to supply chain issues stemming from the pandemic.

“It was terrifying to be honest with you because your child needs to eat and when you use formula to feed your child and you can’t find it, it’s scary,” McBride said.

She said she was even driven out of Maryland to find the formula her child needed.

I myself have traveled far enough to find it. And like out of state, and I got it so as long as I can get my hands on it I’m fine but it’s scary to think about the future. And you know, it’s week after week that you have to keep finding it,” she said. “If there are four, I’ll take two and leave two and hope it helps someone else”

The struggle to find formula gave McBride the idea to start a Facebook group called Formula Finders to help other moms find food for their babies.

“I realized that there must be other mothers involved too. So I created the Facebook group in hopes of connecting families and the formula. So it works until right now, we’re doing pretty well. I mean, there are some that you just can’t find no matter what you do,” she said.

The group grew overnight with moms not just from the DMV area, but across the country. Moms post photos of formulas that are in stock at select stores.

“I hear stories of mothers giving their kids a Similac and they couldn’t get it, so they switched to another brand and now they’re on brand number five. It’s absolutely crazy what I see,” she said. “I’m glad the community is coming together and we can connect. I don’t know what we’re going to do in the future and I hope it stops,” she said.

McBride says she’s not happy that mothers have to go through this.

“I’m happy to help them, but I’m sad that it’s come to this. It’s just sad. I feel good when I find the formula or see someone posting and I’m able to connect them, but when there’s a formula I can’t find, it really bothers me, especially when it’s something something where you know your child should eat. These babies, many of them are under six months old. So it’s not like there could be supplementation with different baby foods or anything like that. But it feels good when I can do it. Yes, finally we did.

She hopes to see changes soon.

“Hopefully this will be resolved somehow because factories need to reopen and babies need to eat and there are babies being born every day. And unfortunately, breastfeeding is not an option for all mothers. We have to do something somewhere.

Abbott is expected to reopen and restart formula production over the next week.