ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Parents across the Big Country are working together while the nation is experiencing a shortage of baby formula.
“Everywhere is empty,” Brownwood mother, Brianna Espinoza, complained.
Moms from across Abilene and the surrounding areas took to social media to raise awareness and share information on where baby formula can be found.
“It’s getting to be a point of a lot of stress for parents right now,” said Hailey Frazier, an Abilene mom of four and peer support mentor for Abilene Postpartum Support Community.
For many parents, finding infant formula has turned into a desperate scavenger hunt across the Big Country.
“In the last few weeks, it was kind of like, ‘oh, I don’t know, it’s getting harder to find.’ But now, especially, it’s really hitting a time where moms are like, ‘okay, this is for real; I don’t know if we have one more can left,’” Frazier explained.
“The first day we were able to buy some… was probably a week ago,” said Espinoza.
Espinoza told KTAB/KRBC she was in Abilene shopping, keeping her eyes peeled for baby formula to buy for her sister’s one-month-old baby.
“If there is some, I can be able to get some for her. That way she can have at least more than what she has now,” Espinoza offered.
Espinoza said her infant nephew needs a formula called “Similac Sensitive.” It’s one of the main formulas most newborns start with. But with the empty shelves, it’s extremely difficult to buy.
“She usually has to go to different sources, like the pregnancy center in Brownwood or WIC in Brownwood to see if they have samples,” Espinoza said. “And they usually only give you one can, because that’s all they have.”
Another Abilene mom, Caitlin Burns, said her child was switched to whole milk about a month ago, and is now giving her leftover formula to a friend.
“She was going to order from Canada, but it was about $75… plus $35 for shipping,” Burns said.
Some, like Frazier, are even offering to donate their own breast milk.
“I do feel for those parents right now who really just don’t know where their baby’s next bottle is going to come from,” said Frazier.
Frazier told KTAB/KRBC the shortage is leaving new parents fearing the unexpected, which is why she plans to remain breastfeeding her 12-month-old son.
“I just think it’s important, right now, for parents to come together and feed all the babies,” said Frazier.
With no timeline for when supply might improve, parents are left relying on others for help. A Facebook page called “Abilene Mama Milk” has been created to help in the search for baby formula. In just one day, the group gathered 70 parents who need or want to help with food security for their children.
For even more support, some new moms in the community encourage others to join “The Abilene Postpartum Support Community” Facebook page.