Comanche Co. Health Dept., moms fight baby formula shortage in SWOK

LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) – A baby formula shortage is impacting families across the country trying to keep their babies healthy.

Here in southwest Oklahoma, one woman is fighting the shortage by providing other guardians in need with her breastmilk.

Brooke-Pollard Sullivan is a 24-year-old mother of two in Lawton.

“I was on Facebook and I kept seeing a bunch of like, ads or postings about the formula shortage and I just thought to myself, like if that was me, I’d be freaking out,” Sullivan said. “I wouldn’t know how to feed my baby. It’s just scary.”

She learned that she could produce a lot of breast milk with her daughter and son, 2-year-old Millie and 8-month-old Waylon.

Sullivan posted in a Facebook group, offering to share her milk with anyone in emergency need.

She said she couldn’t imagine being in that situation and wanted to help others who are.

“That kid is going to have the disadvantages in life because of something that was out of their control, just like this shortage,” Sullivan said. “It’s out of their control and you don’t know what could possibly happen.”

The Women, Infant and Children Nutrition Specialist at the Comanche County Health Department Lauren Hickman said breastmilk is a good alternative if people are facing this problem, but she still said you should consult a professional.

“I encourage them to reach out to their pediatrician about other options that would be comparable,” Hickman said. “I think it’s important to know formulas are similar to the one that you’re baby is drinking because chances are, it just might be a different brand, a different look, but it’s the same formula that’s going to suit baby’s needs.”

The Food and Drug Administration is warning people not to try to make their own formula at home, as it may cause low calcium in infants.

Hickman also urges guardians not to water down formula to try to stretch its use.

“What your baby is drinking in their first year of life is crucial to their development and we definitely don’t want to mess that up,” Hickman said. “I mean, formula companies have come a really long way in fitting all those essential nutrients into their formulas.”

Sullivan is selling items in her online shop to help purchase formula for parents in need.

Before using another’s woman’s breastmilk, the health department suggests consulting your doctor first.

You can also contact your local health department for more information about getting milk from the breast milk bank located in Oklahoma City.

Here’s a list of WIC approved vendors that sell baby formula.

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