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Washington moms struggle to find baby formula during shortage

In April, out-of-stock rates were higher than 40% in several states including Washington.

AUBURN, Wash. — "New-mom" anxiety has hit an all-time high as parents across the country struggle to find baby formula due to a nationwide shortage.

In April, out-of-stock rates were higher than 40% in several states, including Washington.

Bailie McGuire's daughter is just 3 months old. So far, only one baby formula sits well in her stomach. McGuire, who lives in Graham, said the formula has been almost impossible to find.

“I have had to now reach out to friends outside of the state to have it shipped to me, which has been really stressful because if the package gets lost and we are running low, we have to put her on something else and then with the fact that she's sensitive, she just gets so sick," explained McGuire.

McGuire said she has been looking for the sensitive Enfamil baby formula for over a month now.

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"Every single morning, I get up at 5 a.m. and I called 16 plus stores to see if they have received a shipment of her formula and if not, we just kind of hope for the next day," said McGuire.

Ashlee Ulery is from Washington state but now lives in Juneau, Alaska. She said she has been leaning on her family for help finding formula since they still live in Washington.

"My mom goes to Costco, Walmart, she goes to every place trying to find formula for us," explained Ulery. "As well as my sister-in-law [and] my brother."

Ulery said most products in Juneau are flown in or come on a barge, which means it can take weeks to get the formula she needs to feed her almost 7-month-old son.

"There was a couple weeks back where we had no formula left, and we were on our last can," said Ulery. "We've had to switch his formula three different times because of the shortage." 

Locally, Care Net of Puget Sound is working to help moms impacted by the formula shortage.

The center, which has 10 locations in the Puget Sound region, posted on Facebook saying, "our centers are well-stocked with baby formula for women and families!"

Care Net is urging anyone who needs help or emergency formula to give them a call or text, 24/7, at 877-668-2566.

The Biden administration also launched a web page with a roundup of resources to help families who are unable to find baby formula during the current shortage.

The website, HHS.gov/formula, includes manufacturer hotlines for Gerber, Abbott and Reckitts. It also has information about community resources like United Way's 2-1-1 program, Feeding America and the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. 


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