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'It’s awful, you can’t feed your child': Treasure Valley moms impacted by formula shortage

Baby formula shortage
Posted at 4:47 PM, May 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-26 19:46:25-04

NAMPA, Idaho — For weeks now, parents and caretakers have searched high and low for baby formula but have mostly come across empty shelves.

One Treasure Valley mom, 21-year-old Katelyn Cummins, has been searching for weeks but is coming up short.

“You just stand in the aisle and just cry,” Cummins said. “Then your good to walk out the door and you get on Facebook and just hope you can find a mom somewhere with it and she can ship it to you,” Cummins said.

Two-and-a-half-month-old Kamden Cummins is easygoing, but the growing formula shortage is leaving his mom feeling worried, angry and scared.

Camden Cummins

"I mean it’s just frustrating when you can’t feed your baby and you literally have a bottle left in your can and you just can’t find it anywhere,” Cummins said. "It’s awful, you can’t feed your child. It’s not like I can just go to McDonald's and get him a cheeseburger and feed him. He has to have that formula."

Kamden requires a special formula, Similac Pro-Sensitive, which the new mother says is impossible to track down.

“it's like not on the shelves. It’s nonexistent in Idaho,” Cummins said. “It was a harder formula to find before the shortage but it was on the shelves so you only went to like two stores and you could find it at the second store. Now you have to go to 8, 9, and 10 and still can't find it. You cry at the 10th store, then you get on Facebook and pray to god somebody has it.”

Now, the worried mom says she’s down to her last can.

Katelyn Cummins

"Even on Amazon, we tried to order it. We tried to order it to 26 states and we couldn't get it. Even moms in Colorado, North Carolina, South Carolina and Washington. We have family members all throughout and they can’t even find it," she said.

Cummins tried a handful of different formulas, but most caused her son discomfort and cause him to spit up or have painful bowel movements.

“I know sensitive is at the store so I know it's there, but it just doesn't work for him," Cummins said. “That's awful to give your baby something that works but doesn't work. you feed them, but they aren't happy.”

Related: Local pediatrician offers guidance on baby formula shortage

One argument some moms are hearing is just to breastfeed — but it’s not that simple.

"Those people that say oh, just breastfeed, but it’s not for everybody," Cummins said. "I was one of those moms that did have supply but pumping is hard. breastfeeding is extremely hard and you have to do what’s best for your mental health."