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Mother's Milk Bank in Austin seeing call influx amid baby formula shortage

The milk bank's director said it's important to not hoard or panic buy. She encourages parents to get what they need for one or two weeks.

AUSTIN, Texas — The shortage of baby formula linked to a February recall and supply chain issues continues across the U.S.

As of April 24, 40% of popular formula brands were sold out at some stores nationwide, according to Datasembly, a firm that tracks products stocked on store shelves.

The shortage is due to several factors including supply chain issues, rising inflation and previous recalls of baby formula products.

The Mothers' Milk Bank in Austin, a nonprofit where mothers can donate breast milk for babies in need, has been getting an influx of calls in recent weeks. 

"We've seen an increase in the numbers of families calling by about 30 families per week, and those families have healthy infants but are in great need of something to feed the infants. So we've been able to dispense safe pasteurized milk for the majority of them," said Kim Updegrove, the executive director of Mother's Milk Bank Austin.

RELATED: White House launches webpage to help families find baby formula

The World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend breastfeeding infants, but that's not always possible for some mothers.

"We urge them to take a deep breath, know that we can help on a short-term basis, and we ask them to think about the retailers they have acquired their formula from in the past and then we help them to acknowledge that there are other retailers," Updegrove said.

RELATED: Medical experts warn against homemade baby formula as shortages continue

Parents can look for other generic or alternative formulas. They can also search online to buy from reputable stores or directly from manufacturers. Parents should never dilute formula and never try to make their own formula.

Updegrove said it's important to not hoard or panic buy. She encourages parents to just get what they need for one or two weeks. 

The Mothers' Milk Bank in Austin is running low on milk so they ask any mothers who are able to donate to do so to help others.

RELATED: Austin provides list of resources amid national baby formula shortage

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