Parents may be concerned about getting the right formula milk if supplies and stocks are low. Please see https://www.unicef.org.uk/babyfriendly/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2020/03/Infant-feeding-during-the-Covid-19-outbreak.pdf for all the information on breastfeeding and formula feeding, the main points on formula feeding are:
Continue adhering to current guidance on washing and sterilizing equipment. Bottle feed responsively, including pacing feeds and limiting the number of people who feed your baby.
Accessing infant formula – information from https://www.firststepsnutrition.org/parents-carers
There are reports of parents being unable to purchase infant formula. We have been informed that retailers do have stock and continued supplies of infant formula at this time. The main reason shelves have been bare in some shops is because of stockpiling. The British Retail Consortium have said that the major retailers will now limit purchases of infant formula to 2-4 tins per customer (retailers may vary in the number restricted) to ensure that there is fair distribution (BRC communication, 16th March 2020).
Local stores, pharmacies and corner shops do not seem to be experiencing the same empty shelves that the main supermarkets have had. Many pharmacies will order products for their customers if asked.
- Stage 1 / first infant formula should be used for infants in the first year of life
- If you are unable to get your usual brand of first infant formula, don’t worry – you can use any first infant formula as all preparations have a similar nutritional composition to comply with legislation.
- Don’t use stage 2 follow on formula for any baby under 6 months – only use first infant formula.
- If you are using follow on formula for a baby older than 6 months and cannot access this, then use first infant formula.
- If you are using other milks such as anti-reflux milk, comfort milk, etc. and can’t access these, then use first infant formula.
- Always make up infant formula as per manufacturers guidance – do not be tempted to add more water to make it last longer as diluting the milk could endanger your baby’s health.