From Staff Reports
The Unicoi County Department of Health is encouraging parents and caregivers to go to the Tennessee WIC website, https://www.tn.gov/health/health-program-areas/fhw/wic.html for important information on the infant formula shortage that is impacting many people in our county, the state and across the country.
“We know the infant formula shortage is a scary time for parents and caregivers, but our staff are here to help and there are several helpful resources available,” said Michelle Ramsey, Unicoi County Health Department Director.
A substitution list of nutritionally equivalent formulas can be found at https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/health/program-areas/wic/TN-WIC-Temporary-Formula-Substitutions.pdf.
The formula substitution list is pertinent to all consumers, regardless of if they are a WIC participant or not.
Tips for parents and caregivers:
- Do not dilute formula because this can lead to chemical imbalances that can be dangerous for an infant.
- The FDA and American Association of Pediatrics strongly discourage using homemade formula. It could cause additional health concerns such as chemical imbalances, gastrointestinal distress, or allergic reactions.
- Parents should consult with their pediatrician about introducing cow’s milk if their baby is close to one year of age. It may be a good option for a limited time depending on your baby’s age and other conditions.
- Parents can begin to introduce solid foods beginning at 4 months of age for healthy infants for additional nutritional support. Parents can consult with their provider or American Academy of Pediatrics resources for additional information https://www.healthychildren.org/English/Pages/default.aspx
- Parents should only use FDA-regulated infant or toddler formulas and please consult your pediatrician or local WIC office if you have questions or concerns about formula.
A mother’s breastmilk is the best nutritional support for her baby if she is able to breastfeed. Mothers are encouraged to breastfeed if possible. Families, workplaces, community spaces, and religious groups can encourage this by providing appropriate space and time to breastfeed.
For more information contact the Unicoi County Health Department at (423) 743-9103