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Doctors warn against diluting baby formula

Published: May. 13, 2022 at 8:28 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - An urgent message from the state health department to parents: don’t dilute your baby formula.

Some doctors worry parents struggling to find formula on store shelves could resort to this.

But the state health department said diluting baby formula can lead to dehydration, kidney problems, weight loss, and seizures.

The department also advises against making your own formula and using other substitutes.

Doctors said cow’s milk and plant-based milks may not have all the nutrients your babies need, especially those less than a year old.

Many families are struggling to find formula because of supply chain issues and a recent recall of some brands.

This could make you feel pressured to alter the formula to stretch it, or look for alternatives, but doctors stress that can do more harm than good.

“If parents are completely unable to find appropriate milk or infant formula for their children, they really need to be talking to their healthcare provider because you’ve really got the options of breast milk or formula until they’re a year of age. There are some exceptions when they get close to a year of age. They can start to introduce some cow’s milk or potentially, soy milk, if they’re on a soy-based formula, but again, they really need to talk to their doctor about that anything they’re doing less than a year of age,” explained District Medical Officer for ADPH, Dr. Wes Stubblefield.

Dr. Stubblefield added that in most cases, you can find formula at stores across the state, though it may not be your preferred brand.

He said donor breast milk is a safe option, so long as the milk is screened for safety.

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