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Families in Northeast Ohio impacted by baby formula shortage

Dr. Lauren Beene with UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital says the shortage is getting worse.

AVON, Ohio — A shortage of formula used to feed babies is impacting children across the country, and forcing parents to spend hours searching for the right food.

Abby Alusheff, a mother from Avon, says she's frightened for the next few months after having a hard time finding formula for her 4-month-old daughter Lucy.

"There were times when we were out driving two or three hours at a time just to find a can of formula that my daughter can have," Alusheff said.

Alusheff put a plea on social media, asking if others knew of places to get formula after she had trouble getting food for Lucy.

"I have random friends from Ohio who have just been sending me boxes of the formula that we need," she said.

Dr. Lauren Beene  from UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital told 3News the shortage is getting worse.

"We're getting a little bit more calls about it," she admitted. "My patients seem to be bringing it up more."

Once misnomer facing the formula dearth is the belief that mothers can simply breastfeed their children, but it's not that simple.

"A lot of mothers simply just can't breastfeed biologically; they have trouble or difficulty," Dr. Beene explained. "For many women, if somebody comments to them, 'Why don't you just breastfeed?' that can really make them feel terrible."

Beene added that families impacted by the shortage should not dilute the formula to expand the life of the food. It can be very dangerous for babies to consume the mixture if there's too much water.

If you are impacted by the formula shortage, consult with your pediatrician immediately to find food for your child.

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