Area health agencies are asking parents not to use homemade formula

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis-area health agencies are asking parents not to use homemade formula to feed their babies.

Finding formula for many parents is a bit difficult right now. Global shortages are also affecting US store shelves.

“While we know this is a stressful time for families feeding their infants and children infant formula, we urge everyone to refrain from using homemade formula and from buying or receiving breast milk from strangers,” St. Francis County Health Center WIC said in a Facebook post.

The agency also said these formulas are “deficient in nutrients like vitamins and minerals, and are made with potentially harmful large proteins.” They also run the risk of being contaminated with bacteria, which puts babies at risk for foodborne illness.

Parents should also only buy donor breast milk from a reputable milk bank, according to the health center.

The St. Francis County Health Center WIC said anyone needing help should call them at 573-431-1947 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Here are some tips for health center parents.

  1. Compare the prices! Walmart, Harps, Schnucks, Save a Lot, and Mikes Market are WIC-approved stores that all sell formula.
  2. Find out which stores are not WIC approved. Yes, it will be necessary to use other funds for these stores as they do NOT accept WIC, many of them have formula in stock. Think Walgreens, Dollar General, Target (online) and Aldi.
  3. Check the clearance aisle!! We’ve had SEVERAL reports of Walmart offering a discounted formula in the CLEARANCE aisle!
  4. If you see a formula that is fully stocked, but is not the same as the one on your eWIC card, CALL US! We can see how and if we can get this option on your card.