DDPHE Provides Health & Safety Tips Amidst National Formula Shortage

Published on May 17, 2022

The national shortage of infant formula is impacting families in Denver. While formula is in short supply, the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE) offers these safety tips:

  • The Federal Drug Administration advises parents not to dilute formula with additional water or to try to make their own. Formula is specifically regulated to ensure the correct ratio of nutrients for infants. Homemade infant formula recipes have not been evaluated by the FDA and may lack nutrients vital to an infant’s growth.
  • Do not use expired formula. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides guidance and resources about formula preparation and storage.
  • Avoid online or unverified suppliers. Formula that is sold on websites like Craigslist or Facebook may have been tampered with and may not be safe. If you are looking to supplement with breastmilk, use an authorized breastmilk bank that adheres to strict health and safety requirements.
  • Talk to your pediatrician. Your doctor can help identify different types of formula to use instead and help with a transition plan for your baby. Health care providers may also be able to point you to additional formula resources.
  • Your doctor can determine if it is safe to use a different type of milk, like cow’s milk; do not feed your baby other types of milk without checking with your doctor first.
  • Families who qualify for WIC services should contact their local WIC clinic for additional help and resources.

“DDPHE recognizes that this is a hard time for parents and caregivers of infants. We strongly encourage anyone with questions or concerns about the formula shortage to contact your pediatrician,” said Nikki Collins, Community Health Manager for DDPHE. “There are also many resources available to families who are eligible for the WIC program. Contact your local WIC clinic for assistance including lactation support and supplies.”

DDPHE will continue to monitor the situation locally. Federal authorities have indicated the shortage is expected to improve in the coming months.