Grantmakers Take Notice of Shortage of Baby Formula, Bring Awareness to Infant Nursing
For the past month, the catastrophic shortage of baby formula has become a major worry in the United States. According to Datasembly, 43% of baby formula was out of stock at the start of May. And the problem has only increased during the last few weeks.
A shortage was already in play from supply chain issues and became even worse after a baby formula recall led to the shut down of an Abbott Laboratories facility in Michigan in February 2022. The closure came after the recall of the company’s infant formula products in response to bacterial infections in four babies, two of whom died. Abbott has said there is no link between its formula and the illnesses. However, problems continue to manifest with supply chain issues due to the closure. Prices for formula have soared up to 20%.
A baby’s life should not depend upon politics or alleged poor management at a factory. While many healthy, full-term babies can switch easily from brand to brand, for others, a change in formula could be a matter of life or death.
Recognizing that we are powerless to help with manufacturing formulas or supply chain issues, the staff at GrantWatch.com has made it a priority to find grants currently available for nursing research, awareness, education, and supplies.
Grants for Infant Nursing Research, Awareness, and Education
- Firstly, grants are available to U.S. early-career investigators affiliated with institutions to improve the health of pregnant women, mothers, and newborns.
- Federal grants are also available to states for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age 5 who are found to be at nutritional risk. This is a program for individuals and you would need to apply through your local WIC office.
- There are also grants to Montana organizations to enhance the lives of local families and children.
- In addition, grants of up to $5,000 are open to U.S., Canada, and International organizations for research addressing the health of newborn babies within their first year of life.
- Funding is available for first-class research and projects: Grants to USA, Canada, and International Individuals and Organizations for Research Projects Related to Breastfeeding
- There is also a Grant for North Dakota Businesses to Promote Breastfeeding in the Workplace.
Moms form Facebook groups for locating formula
Recently, moms have been banding together to let each other know when they find the type of formula someone is searching for and where to get it. Over producing Moms are storing and sharing milk. If you know of a group (that is not mentioned here), let us know.
Here are some current groups that are up and running:
- Formula Finder – Minnesota
- Omaha, Nebraska & Surrounding Areas Formula Hunt
- FORMULA FINDERS- USA
- Formula Finders of Florida
- Jacksonville FL Moms
- Formula Finders (NC)
- Human Milk for Human Babies – Washington State
- La Leche League of Central Kitsap
Efforts to raise awareness for new mothers
Women often face substantial barriers to breastfeeding. Even a task as simple as having privacy to pump, or a place to refrigerate their milk, can be a detriment. As a community, as a country, we first need to respect women and their wonderful capacity to feed their babies. A wonderful resource for mothers is La Leche League. According to its website, “La Leche League USA helps parents, families, and communities to breastfeed, chest feed, and human milk feed their babies through parent-to-parent support. LLL USA encourages, informs, educates, supports, and promotes the use of human milk and the intimate relationship and development that comes from nursing a child for as long as mutually desired.“
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies are breastfed until age one or longer. However, some women may be unable or not willing to breastfeed for a variety of valid reasons:
- Lack of breastfeeding emotional support
- Trouble latching
- Medical issues
- Lack of accommodation to breastfeed or express milk at the workplace
- Inadequate milk supply
- Lack of funds for breastfeeding supplies and equipment, including pumps, pads, sterilization equipment to store formula, etc.
- Lack of experience or understanding among family members of how best to support mothers and babies
Some funding sources recognize if the mother and baby are healthy, then more needs to be done to encourage breastfeeding. Without support from family, friends, and coworkers, new mothers find it more difficult to nurse. For this reason, grantmakers have provided funds for lactation awareness and education, research, and supplies. GrantWatch.com invites funding sources to post their grants for maternal and infant health on GrantWatch.com. We promise to get the word out to you.
Healthy mothers and babies can help those in need
The recent baby formula crisis has shed a light on the fact that nursing is a more economical option. According to a Google search, current prices for baby formula range from $19 -$145 depending on the formula needs of the infant. A study published in the Pediatrics journal estimated that if 90% of families followed guidelines to breastfeed exclusively for six months, the U.S. would annually save $13 billion from reduced medical and other costs.
The economical benefits continue and crossover into the workforce. For both employers and employees, better infant health means:
- fewer health insurance claims
- less employee time off to care for sick children, and
- higher work productivity.
Stay up to date with the latest grants for women, on GrantWatch.com.
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