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Bowling Green pediatrician says patients finding enough baby formula during national shortage

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The shortage of baby formula is impacting families across the nation, including those in Bowling Green.

The shortage began in February when Abbott, the producer of Similac, shut down a plant in Michigan after four infants fell ill and two died from bacterial infections after drinking formula produced at the facility.

One Bowling Green pediatrician said she’s been getting lots of calls and questions from her patients.

Dr. Kelly Kries said patients are just not sure what to feed their infants when they can’t get their usual formula.

“A lot of families are having to switch from the Similac products to Enfamil products or to whatever they can find,” said Kries.

She said it’s even more difficult for her patients who have babies on a specialty formula.

“They might be on a sensitive formula or a reflux formula or a more specialty formula and they will have to buy whatever they can find at the store,” she said.

Many local moms have been reaching out to help each other. For example, they’ve created a Facebook page where they post photos of store shelves that have formula.

Dr. Kries said for any of her patients who have had babies in the past few months, she recommends they breastfeed, if at all possible. She said the new moms understand that breastfeeding is one way to be certain their infants will be fed during the current shortage of formula.

Rhonda Miller began as reporter and host for All Things Considered on WKU Public Radio in 2015. She has worked as Gulf Coast reporter for Mississippi Public Broadcasting, where she won Associated Press, Edward R. Murrow and Green Eyeshade awards for stories on dead sea turtles, health and legal issues arising from the 2010 BP oil spill and homeless veterans. She has worked at Rhode Island Public Radio, as an intern at WVTF Public Radio in Roanoke, Virginia, and at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rhonda’s freelance work called Writing Into Sound includes stories for Voice of America, WSHU Public Radio in Fairfield, Conn., NPR and AARP Prime Time Radio. She has a master’s degree in media studies from Rhode Island College and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Rhonda enjoys quiet water kayaking, riding her bicycle and folk music. She was a volunteer DJ for Root-N-Branch at WUMD community radio in Dartmouth, Mass.
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