To review the official statement from the IDOH, click here.

May 20, 2022

The Indiana Department of Health recognizes that Hoosier families are struggling to find infant formula. Choosing how and what you feed your baby has a big impact on their health. While many of us turn to family, friends, and the internet when we have questions, in this case it is very important that parents and caregivers use reliable information when making decisions about infant feeding. We want to answer some questions and give important information and resources to help you keep your baby safe and healthy during this stressful time.

  • Why can’t I find my baby’s formula in stores?
    • Infant formula is being affected by supply chain issues. This means there are interruptions in the network of people and activities that move a product from its starting place to the store. In February there was also an infant formula recall from Abbott Nutrition which limited the availability of certain formulas.
  • Can I make my own baby formula?
    • It is not recommended to feed your baby homemade infant formula. Babies need just the right amount of nutrients to grow and be healthy, and homemade infant formulas may not be safe, or may not meet your baby’s nutritional needs. Please give your baby products that meet federal standards for nutrition and safety.
  • Does it matter what formula I give my baby?
    • Every baby has different needs, but it is important to give your baby products that meet federal standards for nutrition and safety. If you are a client of the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, your Nutritionist can help you figure out what formula is right for your baby. If you are not a client of WIC, you can ask your baby’s doctor what formula is best for them.
  • Who do I call if I cannot find my baby’s formula?
    • There are several resources that can helpif you cannot find your baby’s formula:
      • Call your baby’s doctor to see if a more available formula would work for your baby;
      • If you are a WIC client, talk to your WIC Nutritionist about other formulas or can sizes that might work for your baby;
      • Call the MCH MOMS Helpline at 1-844-MCH-MOMS (1-844-624-6667) for assistance finding information.
  • Can I stretch out my formula by adding more water?
    • Babies in the first 6 months after birth do not need water or other liquids such as juice, tea, or water in addition to formula or breast milk, unless specifically advised by a pediatrician. Diluting formula or feeding water in addition to breast milk or formula can lead to a dangerous condition called water intoxication.
  • My baby is under 6 months old, is there anything else safe for my baby to eat?
    • Babies under 6 months old do not need any nutrition other than breast milk or ironfortified infant formula.
  • My baby is over 6 months old, is there anything else safe for my baby to eat?
    • If your baby is over 6 months old, talk to their doctor about when and how to add nutrition other than breast milk or formula to baby’s diet. If your baby is onWIC, your WIC Nutritionist can also give great recommendations on what your baby can eat. •
  • Can I give my baby someone else’s breast milk?
    • If you are unable to feed your baby with your own breast milk, then pasteurized human donor milk from a certified milk bank is the next best option. If you are considering using anyone’s breastmilk other than your own, consider safety first! Know the risks and benefits and reach out to your baby’s doctor to make that decision together.
  • What do I do if I’m partially breastfeeding, and I cannot find formula to supplement?
    • If you are a WIC client, you can reach out directly to your local clinic for ideas, support and the tools you need to increase your milk supply. If you are not a WIC client, you can work with a lactation specialist, your doctor, your baby’s doctor or a friend or family member who has breastfed to help.
  • What do I do if I am not breastfeeding but would like to try?
    • If you are pregnant and planning to breastfeed your new baby, there are lots of great resources to help! Reach out to WIC or check out these resources from the USDA WIC Breastfeeding website and theOffice on Women’s Health.
    • If you did not breastfeed your baby, or you have lost your milk supply, you can consider re-lactation. Your WIC team can help you with this process, or if you are not on WIC, you can find a lactation specialist who can assist you.
  • When I find formula, how much should I buy?
    • The recommendation is to try to have on hand enough formula to last your baby 10-14 days. Please avoid stock piling formula beyond that, to ensure that all families have an opportunity to access what their babies need.