Facebook page offers help to Milwaukee-area parents amid baby formula shortage

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WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- After a stressful few months for parents of newborns, there is word that stores could soon have more baby formula in stock.

The FDA is expected to allow for baby formula to be imported from other countries. Also, infant formula maker Abbott has reached an agreement with the FDA to start production of baby formula again after safety problems at a Michigan plant have been resolved. 

It's expected to be up to eight weeks though, until the product will arrive in stores. 

Even if shelves fill up, it may not be enough. That's because it can be difficult for babies to switch up their formula. For now, Milwaukee-area parents are finding help from each other .

Eight-month-old Sydney's on another trip with dad, and once again finding shelves that should have baby formula on them rather empty.

"Went to go to Costco and saw that somebody posted that the palettes were completely full there, and we had gone two hours later and they were nearly empty. It was crazy to see how fast things are just disappearing from shelves," said Nick Koscielniak, a Grafton dad.

Sam Wiegele started a Facebook page to help Milwaukee-area parents of newborns. In just days, it's already got almost 1,000 members.

"I was expecting like 20 maybe, so yeah, a lot bigger than I was expecting," said Wiegele.

A great resource already as Facebook members post real-time photos from various stores and offer up unused cans to each other. Even more helpful than the alert Wiegele got on her phone notifying her when a retailer had available product.

"I clicked the link. I clicked 'add to cart.' I clicked 'buy' and it was sold out in 15 seconds," said Wiegele.

Something else worried parents are turning to is breast milk. Women who can help others are doing so.

"Moms in general just like have this desire to help," sad Amber Barnes, clinical manager of Mother's Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes.

Barnes says some infants who've been on formula will be able to switch to breast milk with their doctor's approval. Mother's Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes serves Wisconsin and Illinois. Much of it goes to babies who are on a prescription formula.

"Having a newborn, having a baby, having a medically fragile baby is such a stressful time, and to have the worry about being able to provide the nutrition that your baby needs, we like -- our hearts go out to these families," said Barnes.

If your baby's a candidate, Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes has dispensaries throughout Wisconsin. 

You can get more information on receiving and about donating breast milk on their website, by clicking here

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