Mother turns to social media as baby formula shortage grows

Moms across the Valley are finding empty shelves when they go to buy baby formula.
Published: May. 6, 2022 at 2:21 PM CDT
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PHOENIX (Arizona’s Family/Gray News) - One mother has discovered that finding the specific type of formula she needs for her infant son is becoming increasingly more difficult amid supply chain issues.

Arizona’s Family reports Jessica Contreras’ son Hartford, who is 6 months old, is dealing with medical issues that limit the type of formula he can use. Hartford has severe allergies and battles moderate eczema.

Jessica Contreras’ son Hartford is 6 months old.
Jessica Contreras’ son Hartford is 6 months old.(Arizona's Family)

“Our routine consists of steroids twice a day, pretty much throughout his body,” Contreras said. “Two different types of steroids, moisturizing ointment a few times a day, daily allergy medicine, probiotics and bleach baths three to four times a week.”

The skin conditions have left Hartford with scabs, cuts and bruises all over his skin.

“We found out he was allergic to eggs and casein, which is a protein found in most mammals’ milk, cow’s milk and goat’s milk, so that was helpful because we found out the formula he was using had casein, which most formulas do,” Contreras said.

Contreras can’t breastfeed Hartford, so she turned to social media for help finding the right formula for her child.

“It was beyond what I ever imagined when I posted on Facebook. I really thought I was just asking my friends and family to keep an eye out when they went to the store,” Contreras said. “Within days, I had moms not only in Arizona but throughout the country offering to help me.”

Six-month-old boy Hartford has had allergic reactions to many types of formula, so his mother...
Six-month-old boy Hartford has had allergic reactions to many types of formula, so his mother had a hard time finding one he can drink.(Jessica Contreras via Arizona's Family)

Hartford now has enough formula for a few months, and Contreras acknowledges she is lucky.

“I purchased some formula on OfferUp, and I sent money to women throughout the country, and thankfully they returned formula, but that’s not always the case,” she said.

Contreras now hopes to pay it forward, already sending formula she will not be using to other moms in need.

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