Saskatchewan’s Nakaylia Tudway-Cains first noticed empty shelves where baby formula should have been about a month ago and it’s now become a problem.
“This is no joke and I really wish there were more options out there for our babies and especially those babies who have no other option and are very dependent on the formulas,” Tudway-Cains said.
Tudway-Cains switched to formula when her nine-month-old son was diagnosed with a milk protein allergy.
“We tried a couple of different formulas and one didn’t work and then the other did and after we adjusted to that one it went out of stock,” Nakaylia Tudway-Cains said.
She reached out to a pediatrician and dietician for help and now pays $400 a month for over-the-counter formula.
She can still get some this way but others can’t.
“We are down to our last bottle today,” Lutos Villanueva said.
The formula Villanueva’s nine-month-old baby Greyson drinks has been so hard to find that Villanueva made a Facebook post on pages across the province asking if anyone had extras.
Villanueva also ordered some from the United States but it hasn’t arrived yet and switching brands isn’t an option.
“As soon as he realized it was a different milk he would stop drinking it so we are stuck with the Similac,” Villanueva said.
The Retail Council of Canada says formula supply has been an ongoing issue since mid-2021 that’s been made worse by a recall and temporary factory closure from major producer Abbott.
“Some of that includes a global shortage of some of the raw ingredients that go into baby formula, specifically for those formula products that do not have substitutions,” said Michelle Wasylyshen, national spokeswoman for the Retail Council of Canada.
Despite the challenge, the Tudway-Cain and Villanueva families say they consider themselves lucky, since their babies are not newborns completely dependent on formula alone.
“Hopefully he stops drinking formula soon,” Villanueva said.
In a few months, their children will outgrow formula – they say they just need to hold out a little bit longer.
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