Feeding a baby is becoming more and more of a challenge as grocery store shelves turn up barren for baby formula.
This formula shortage started when in February, when a company producing the Similac baby formula shut down due to a potential bacteria outbreak.
They have yet to reopen.
This has led to stores across the nation losing 43 percent of their formula stock in May and shelves getting cleaned out.
After having her baby boy in January of this year, new mom Anna Blakkolb realized she couldn’t make milk.
“But after two weeks my milk never came in and doctors and lactation consultants said ‘I don’t think it’s going to happen,’” Blakkolb said.
According to Forbes, up to 32% of moms are unable to breastfeed their baby for various reasons and must turn to formula or a milk donor.
“I have had several moms who, once they find out I have a need, they’ve alerted me and passed on like here’s another mom,” Blakkolb said.
“The worst thing is you can write a message and they said ‘I can’t help you,’” said Caylan Radcliff, a local mother that donates her milk.
Radcliff is helping moms like Blakkolb, by donating her own supply of milk.
She posted to Facebook about her extra supply for parents in need throughout the community.
“I felt bad for all the mothers who have to worry about feeding their babies,” Radcliff said.
“And now with the shortage, I think more important that he’s able to be fed,” Blakkolb said, regarding her son.
In fact, this shortage is turning more and more moms to donate their excess supply to milk banks.
“You know I think the most astounding thing that has happened which is really heartwarming and amazing is the number of families that have reached out to say ‘I want to give back to my community, I want to help other families, I think I could potentially be a milk donor,’” said Lesley Mondeaux, the Executive Director for the Northwest Mothers’ Milk Bank.
“Moms that do breastfeed should definitely look into donating some milk to the moms who are suffering through this formula crisis for sure,” Radcliff said.
If a baby lends to Radcliff’s milk, she’ll continue to supply as long as she can produce.
“It’s just like donating blood,” Radcliff said.
With a similar impact, benefiting families across Central Oregon.
“That’s incredible that other moms are looking out for other moms,” Blakkolb said.
Mom’s interested in donating their breast milk can reach out to any of the hospitals in the Central Oregon area; St. Charles even offers drop off.
Registering as a donor to a local milk bank is also an option and some banks pay for screening procedures.