SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — From supply chain issues to formula recalls, local mothers say finding alternatives to their infant’s preferred or needed baby formula is no easy task.
Katelyn Reintzel is expecting her second child in August. She said she doesn’t know if she’ll be able to feed her baby without formula.
“Fortunately with my first, I was successful in breastfeeding but every baby is different. Every pregnancy is different. Every postpartum is different and I don’t know if I will successfully be able to breastfeed with this one but hopefully, I will be able to,” Reintzel said.
Reintzel is not alone. Sara Book is a mother in Hinton. She donates her breast milk to friends in need. She said that at a time when formula is so difficult to find, not being able to breastfeed can cause added stress for moms.
“A lot of moms are having a difficult time and they’re getting bad comments about maybe they should just breastfeed and that’s not an option for some people so if I can do it and help them out, that’s something I kind of wanted to do,” Book said.
Book said she’s donated 350 ounces of breast milk so far this year to her family and friends.
For Siouxlanders who need baby formula, the Siouxland District Health Department provides a program called WIC to help qualifying women, infants, and children with food assistance.
Jean Sterner is the WIC program coordinator. She said WIC helps more than 3,000 families in Woodbury County pay for formula, but during this shortage, they can only do so much.
“We’re just on the purchasing end. We do not have anything to do with the actual supply chain,” Sterner said. “We just help families navigate that and we encourage families to talk to their doctor if they can’t find the formula they’re currently using. Perhaps there’s a substitute they can use.”
Sterner said the program has income requirements and it’s open to all women who are pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum. Moms looking to donate or order breast milk can do so through the Mother’s Milk Bank of Iowa.