Perfect storm: Drought of baby formula came at the same time breastfeeding dropped 69% in America


(Pictured above, infant formula nearly out of stock at the West Dimond Fred Meyer on Friday evening.)

One foster mother standing at the infant formula section at Carrs on Northern Lights and Minnesota on Saturday said she had been all over Anchorage looking for formula for her foster baby, who was on her hip. She had not yet found the formula that her foster baby could use.

“What about those moms who cannot afford to drive all over town?” she wondered aloud.

It’s fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic: Health experts are saying that a decline in breastfeeding since the pandemic hit in 2020 is contributing to the infant formula shortage, which may last through July, as the Biden Administration and the private sector struggle through supply chain and production issues.

Breastfeeding is complicated business. Stress can prevent moms from being able to produce milk. The difficulty of finding child care during the pandemic combined with the challenge of finding babysitters, led to uncertain schedules for families. These are among the hurdles for moms being able to breastfeed. Moms who got Covid may have been too sick to breastfeed. Other reasons a baby would need formula is that they are in foster care or have specific health issues.

In Anchorage, the shelves were nearly bare in the infant formula section during a walk-through on Friday and Saturday of several grocery and drug stores. All stores visited by Must Read Alaska are either out of formula or keeping inventory locked up.

The shortage of formula is also due to a government recall of several types of formulas made by Abbott Nutrition, which provides nearly 50% of all formula sold in America. It’s also because of a drop in births during the pandemic, and then a surge. In addition, new mothers have stopped breastfeeding.

Research from Demographic Intelligence shows that after birth rates crashed in 2020, “the demand for formula was anemic.” But by early 2021, “births came roaring back, leading to very high year-over-year growth rates.” Democraphic Intelligence also found the number of breast-fed one-year-olds declined from roughly 34% in 2020 to roughly 14% in 2022, “reversing decades of growth.” It’s a 69% decline in breastfeeding in two years.

“During the pandemic, many new mothers were unable to get the care and help they needed to successfully breastfeed because of Covid-19 restrictions, experts said. For example, many mothers had shorter hospital stays and were discharged before their baby latched successfully or their milk came in. Parents also had less support and in-person assistance from doulas and peer-support groups, as well as from family and friends, as people reduced contact to avoid exposing newborns to the coronavirus,” according to a report from the Advisory Board, an online publication for health professionals.

The Biden Administration has invoked the Defense Production Act, which requires suppliers to “direct needed resources to infant formula manufacturers before any other customer who may have ordered that good.” And the Biden Administration is importing millions of bottles of three Nestle infant formulas that are scarce in the United States. Two shipments of formula have arrived in Indianapolis and Virginia.

But in Alaska, infant formula is still in extreme short supply and is expected to be at crisis levels through July.


  1. No Suzanne you’re wrong mmmmkaaaayyy. This is Trumps fault, mmkay. Remember when the toilet paper rush of 2020 was going full tilt? Sooo this is just more of the same……Also Putin….mkay.
    So if you want more starving babies keep banning abortion, mmkay.

      • Good lord granny, does sarcasm not exist in your world? Have none of the MRAK readers ever seen SATIRE? You know like a joke at the other sides expense……?????
        Talk about over your head…cripes

    • Anchorage-ite you may be average in some ways. Your reason, logic and history, however, are at a whole new level incompressibility.

  2. Average Anchorage-ite provides the most underinformed view i have seen in months. i am sure their vote for Christopher Constant is consistent with all logic in that neighborhood.

    • Geeeeezzzzzuuus Randy! It’s called sarcasm……. You think anybody really types like that? I wrote it as a joke of the insane blatherings that a lot of the left wing trolls leave on here! Z Thomas Frank Rast wouldbe the dog and many others.
      GDmnt I’m starting to seriously question the IQ of most of MRAKs readers.

      • I question your intelligence when you can’t leave this, /s at the end of your not really funny and overused mmmkay post. Try harder or don’t try at all.

        • Hahahahaha you must be one of the afore mentioned left wing trolls. The fact that I had to explain it is sarcasm shows I’m trying to hard already.

          Not /s

          • ‘That it is sarcasm’ not ‘it is sarcasm’.
            ‘Too harder’ not ‘to harder’.
            It’s sad that that’s the best you can do. Please stop trying. It’s giving everyone the cringes.

  3. I wasn’t aware of the dip and subsequent rise in both rates. I wonder how true that 69% drop in BF really is? I encourage all new moms to BF their babies. I did, until each was 3 and would do so again given the opportunity. Lots of benefits all around… and it’s something to really be proud of.

    And who is the —— with the “mmmmmkay” comments? I can’t figure out if that’s sarcasm or if that person is serious.

  4. I find an over abundance of reliance on all types of processed foods, including infant formula. Neither child of mine had formula nor store bought baby foods. And there’s a shortage in good, old fashioned common sense. The govt is working overtime in creating fear which I cannot believe so many sheeple are still buying into.

  5. I breastfed through having covid. It sucked, but it was worth it for baby to get the antibodies. Mom’s are encouraged to give up breastfeeding too easily. Yes, there are many who have legitimate issues keeping them from producing breastmilk. The majority are women who don’t have proper support though. They think they’re not producing enough or baby isn’t doing well, but with the right support they’d be able to continue breastfeeding. It’s a shame.

    La Leche League is a free resource, with local Alaskan groups for breastfeeding support.

  6. All by design by the globalists that hijacked our government. Build back better is the brain child of Klaus Schwab and the WEF. Biden couldn’t organize a 10 year old’s birthday party and the democrats are in lockstep to destroy America.

  7. Here is a article that sheds light on the baby formula shortage also.

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