FDA Advises Parents and Caregivers to Not Make or Feed Homemade Infant Formula to Infants

The FDA is advising parents and caregivers to not make or feed homemade infant formula to infants. Parents or caregivers of infants who have consumed a homemade infant formula should contact their healthcare provider and report any symptoms to their local Health Department.

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The 2020-2025 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Infants and Children Under Two

A message from Mardi Mountford, President of the Infant Nutrition Council of America

For the first time, the 2020-2025 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) includes recommendations for children under two years of age. The Infant Nutrition Council of America (INCA) commends the U.S Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) for expanding the guidelines to include this important age group.

The 2020-2025 DGAs confirms that breast milk is the preferred infant feeding option.  The DGAs also identify commercial, iron-fortified infant formula as the only safe and recommended alternative for those who cannot or choose not to use breast milk.  The DGAs recommend against using homemade infant formula and those that are illegally imported into the United States without mandated FDA review and supervision as they are unsafe infant feeding alternatives.  Other notable recommendations for infants and children under two years of age include the recommendation for Vitamin D supplements for breastfed infants and the recommendation to encourage young children  to consume a variety of complementary, nutrient dense foods and beverages to meet energy and nutrient needs. It is INCA’s position that toddler nutritional drinks can provide essential nutrients often lacking in the diets of young children.

The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for children under the age of two empowers those making infant feeding decisions with accurate, science-based information. The choice parents make about how to feed their child is an important and personal decision rooted in individual circumstances. INCA looks forward to putting the science-based Dietary Guidelines recommendations concerning infant feeding into practice to support all mothers, fathers and caregivers in making the best nutrition decisions for their infants and their families.

(KTVA) Experts: Don’t get creative with infant formula

Because of a change in shopping patterns due to the coronavirus, some parents are having a hard time finding their brand of infant formula. Doctors at the University of Washington are warning parents against getting creative.

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(BabyGaga) Parents Warned Not To Make Their Own Formula During COVID-19 Shortage

The moment that Covid-19 hit the United States, people all over the country started panic buying and hoarding food. Many families went and bought an overload of toilet paper and other basic necessities. Due to the overwhelming amount of families hoarding and over-buying, many families are struggling to find toiletries, soaps, cleaning supplies, canned food, and even baby products – especially baby formula.

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(Mom.com) An Open Letter to All the Formula-Feeding Shamers Out There

In an age when we constantly shout “Take care of you!” encouragement to one other, concerning the hardest and sometimes most confusing job in the world, you screaming the same known facts about why “breast is best” really doesn’t serve to effectively change any of our minds for those of us who opted and/or are opting out of nursing. Yes, breast can be best — but not always.

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Five COVID-19 Infant Feeding Facts Every Parents Needs to Know

As the COVID-19 situation evolves, many parents and caregivers are home and may have questions about how they will feed their families, particularly their new infants. With incorrect information regarding infant formula and other infant feeding methods being circulated online and on social channels, the Infant Nutrition Council of America put together these five facts to keep your baby healthy.

1. Infant Formula Manufacturers are Maintaining Production & Supply

Members of the Infant Nutrition Council of America want to reassure parents and caregivers that there is infant formula available to meet their needs. Manufacturers have increased production, and are working with retailers and government agencies to help ensure availability and continued access to infant formula.  Parents and caregivers should communicate with their infant’s pediatrician if they have questions about infant feeding methods, especially if they are considering a major change in their infant’s nutrition routine.

2. Do Not Stockpile Infant Formula

There is no shortage in the supply of infant formula coming from manufacturers. There have, however, been reports of an increase in demand in certain areas, and—in some locations—limits on purchases. In order to help ensure all parents and caregivers are able to obtain the formula they need, please avoid unnecessary stockpiling.

3. WIC Benefits Are Specific to Certain Types of Infant Formula

Parents and caregivers should be aware that WIC benefits are specific to certain types of infant formula. Formula companies are committed to ensuring continued availability of infant formulas for every baby; including WIC approved infant formulas. If you do not see WIC approved formula on shelves at your retailer, speak to the store manager.

4. Only Purchase Infant Formula from Reputable Retailers

Infantformula can be safely purchased from reputable retailers, either in their brick and mortar stores or through their official website, as well as directly from the manufacturer.

5. Practice Safe Bottle Preparation & Be Aware of Unsafe Feeding Practices

  • Practice Safe Bottle Preparation, Cleaning, and Storage: Whether you use formula or expressed breast milk in bottles, there are basic bottle safety rules to follow. To start, always wash your hands before and after feeding. If you use formula, make sure to read the preparation directions and mix it correctly. Never use a microwave to warm bottles; instead put them in warm water on top of the stove. Visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for infant formula preparation and storage information and infantnutrition.org for a thorough checklist of all the steps you should take when preparing bottles.
  • Do Not Dilute Infant Formula: American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advise that diluted formula will not provide adequate nutrition and, if fed for an extended period of time, may result in slower growth and risk of malnutrition. Additionally, the AAP warns that excessive water consumption could result in water intoxication, which can cause seizures and even death in infants. Families should follow proper mixing instructions provided by the manufacturer.
  • Do Not Make Homemade Formula: The FDA strongly recommends against making and feeding homemade infant formula. There is evidence that homemade infant formulas, which can contain raw, unpasteurized cow, goat, or sheep milk, can lead to life-threating bacterial infections, especially in infants. Additionally, homemade infant formula may lack appropriate levels of nutrients needed to support healthy infant growth and brain development. In some cases, catchup growth and development for these deficiencies is not possible. U.S. government agencies and healthcare organizations only recommend breast milk and/or commercial infant formula for feeding young infants.
  • Do Not Feed Cow’s Milk to Infants: Cow’s milk is not appropriate for children under the age of one year, as they cannot digest cow’s milk as easily as breast milk or infant formula. Additionally, iron deficiency anemia is the most common nutritional problem in infants, and cow’s milk does not provide a sufficient amount of iron to meet a baby’s needs.
  • Do Not Share Breastmilk: According to the FDA, babies fed human milk from a source other than their own mother could be exposed to infectious diseases (including HIV), to chemical contaminants (such as some illegal drugs), and some prescription drugs if the donor has not been adequately screened.

(Romper) Viral Posts About Free Baby Formula During COVID-19 Pandemic Aren’t True

As concerns over the global coronavirus pandemic continue to fuel shortages at grocery stores, some folks on social media have sought to hopefully ease parents’ minds with a viral claim that companies will send cases of baby formula to families who can’t find it in stores. But the companies behind three popular brands tell Romper that the viral posts about free baby formula during the coronavirus pandemic simply aren’t true.

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(Parents) If You Don’t Have the Baby Formula You Need, Here’s What to Do

Coronavirus hasn’t caused a baby formula shortage, but COVID-19 has shoppers hoarding necessities including baby formula. Don’t panic if you can’t find yours. While homemade formula is never safe, there are smart steps to take to keep your baby healthy and fed.

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