CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Whether you're buying infant formula made from cow's milk or lactose-free formula for babies with allergies, baby formula is hard to find right now.
Formula ranges from $20-$50, and the price starts to increase when you take into account the ingredients.
Driscoll Children's Hospital WIC Director Kathy Almaraz said formula is mainly formulated with vitamins and minerals so a baby can easily digest it and absorb it. This is what helps a baby grow and stay healthy and content.
If you choose to breastfeed. Will a baby be able to get the same nutrients from breast milk??
"All breast milk has fat in it, but the composition does change — as does the flavor," Almaraz said. "Many infants will refuse formula when mom stops breastfeeding for some reason."
The National Library of Medicine reports 73 percent of women say they stopped breastfeeding because of inconvenience, or fatigue associated with it, while 20 percent of women said they needed to return to work or school.
Almaraz said while infants favor breast milk over formula, that doesn’t make it any easier for moms.
One Corpus Christi mom said she can’t breastfeed, her son even if she wanted to.
"He only takes formula," said Zoe Shiplett. "He doesn't take well to breastfeeding because he's lactose intolerant, so it’s hard to breastfeed and not consume dairy sometimes because when you’re a dairy lover, people say to cut it out. But there's unknown dairies in most things."
While it's a challenge to start breastfeeding again after stopping, Almaraz said its not impossible.
“Different times of day makes a difference," she said. "In the morning, your milk has more fat in it because you normally have a longer time between feedings.”
But some mom’s don’t have that option. Zoe Shiplett is one of them.
“Our other one he only does formula,” said Shiplett. “He doesn't take well to breastfeeding. He's lactose and tolerant so its hard to breastfeed and not consume dairy sometimes because when you’re a dairy lover people say to cut it out but there's unknown dairies in most things.”
Shiplett has a son who is allergic to milk and has to drink soy formula, which is also in short supply right now.
Texas Health and Human Services offers more information about breastfeeding or you can click here, if you want a more in-depth conversation about how to feed your baby.
You can also consult with a WIC breastfeeding councilor by calling (361) 694-4727.