CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — According to data from Google, searches for ‘how to make baby formula’ have recently hit a high over the last 12 months.
Texas is ranked tenth in the country for such searches in that time frame.
Jordan Griffing, a NICU dietician at Driscoll Children’s Hospital, said she has seen people posting on social media about making their own formula, but recommends against doing that.
“I know it can be very tempting, especially with it being so hard to find formula, to just try to make your own, but that can actually be very dangerous,” Griffing said. “The recipes that have been circulating around the internet do not meet their needs. Not only will it not meet their needs, it can cause a lot of medical conditions, and we’ve actually already seen several babies admitted for issues due to parents trying to make their own formula, or diluting formula.”
Griffing said commercial formula is regulated by the FDA to make sure it has the right nutrients necessary for baby’s growth, and is as close to the resemblance of breast milk as it can be.
“A lot of that is the prebiotics and the probiotics that are in formula,” she said. “That helps with immune health, it helps with gut health, and helps them grow developmentally.”
Griffing said many of the homemade recipes she has seen also include excessive amounts of water, which can also cause issues for babies.
“Babies aren’t meant to have a lot of water. In excess, it can cause seizures and other neurological issues,” she said.
Lauren Rickard is a new mother. She had her son in February, and has had an increasingly more difficult time finding formula.
“Lately it’s been impossible to find formula locally or even online,” she said. “Not knowing if you’re going to be able to find food for your baby is traumatizing.”
Rickard said friends have sent her recipes for homemade formula, but she knows not to make her own formula.
“I’d rather try every other option first, because I know anything I could make in the kitchen would not have the same nutrition as he needs to be his most healthy,” she said.
Griffing also recommends against watering down formula, as it dilutes the nutrients a baby needs.
If you are having trouble finding formula, Griffing recommends speaking with your pediatrician, or your local WIC.