Fears grow amidst baby formula shortage

One Holliday mother opens up about the stresses.
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 5:26 PM CDT
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HOLLIDAY, Texas (KAUZ) - Holliday resident Karrol Mayfield, like millions of other American families, is looking far and wide to find the one thing to help her 8-month-old son Theodore get the nutrition he needs: baby formula.

“It’s heartbreaking because I know I’m not the only parent dealing with it,” Mayfield said. “You can’t find anything like there’s hardly any formula on the shelves, and it’s not just one specific brand; it’s all of them.”

Last week, CBS estimated that nearly 43% of all baby formula products were out of stock in stores nationwide.

It’s the reason why Mayfield has sometimes resorted to getting formula from Oklahoma and why regular trips to grocery stores in Wichita Falls have turned into emotional breakdowns.

“Yesterday, I went to the store and saw a new mom. The baby was brand new, and I cried with that mom because I’m like, ‘I understand your frustration,’” Mayfield said.

Some have even resorted to a homemade formula that is not only expensive but it’s also dangerous, and pediatricians say it could cause severe anemia.

The other problem is watering down formula to extend its use.

“People think it’s a great idea because it’ll make it last longer, but unfortunately, babies aren’t able to get rid of excess water as easily as we do, and they can develop a severe condition called water intoxication, which can result in seizures and brain damage,” pediatrician, Dr. Terry Johnson said.

So, with dangers like this, Mayfield’s constant search and hours of driving continue to get the nutrition her son needs.

“It’s like the beginning of COVID when people were going in and buying all the food and everything. You can’t find toilet paper or certain kinds of meat,” Mayfield said. “It’s that all over again, just with formula.”

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