The Simcoe Muskoka District Health is giving guidance to families during the ongoing shortage of some hypoallergenic infant formulas.
The availability of some types of the formula is limited because of supply issues in the United States.
Health officials say only “specialized” formulas like alimentum, pregestimil, and nutramigen are impacted by the shortage. They add that Health Canada is working to remedy the situation and recommend only using the specialized formulas when babies and toddlers need them.
In the meantime, officials say to look for alternative sources of infant nutrition:
- Homemade formulas are not recommended as they may not provide the proper balance of nutrients that infants need. They may also contain ingredients and allergens or be prepared in a manner that can result in contamination by harmful bacteria that cause serious illness.
- Informal breastmilk sharing may have risks and infants who require hypoallergenic formulas may not be able to tolerate breastmilk. Sharing unprocessed breastmilk is not recommended and has risks which can cause your baby to become ill, including contamination from allergens, viruses, bacteria, medications or drugs.
- (Re)lactation may be an option for some families and parents should talk to their healthcare provider first about whether (re)lactation is an option and how to access help including intensive lactation consultation, including support from a nutritionist and/or registered dietitian.
Health officials say to reach out to your healthcare provider if you need hypoallergenic formula and can’t find it.