Oklahoma Moms Band Together As Baby Formula Shortage Continues

Wednesday, May 18th 2022, 7:50 pm


The ongoing baby formula shortage brings Oklahoma moms together amid the struggle. The mothers have helped find formula for other moms, and some lend more than just a hand.

Edmond mother Adele Owens does the leg work, leaving a digital trail. She shares what metro area stores have formula on the shelves, so other moms don't have to spend a day on the hunt for food.

"It's a scary feeling when you don't know if you're going to be able to feed your baby," Owens said.  

Owens shared a Facebook video that shows barren shelves where baby formula once sat, something the mother of six has never had to deal with before.

"The infant crisis center was literally my last resort," Owens said. "It was almost shameful just because I've worked by butt off to get where we are.”  

Now, Owens keeps her followers on Facebook in the loop while she shops to restock with more video updates. 

She's also not the only Oklahoma mom who wants to help others fill the littlest bellies. About 50 moms have reached out to the Oklahoma Mother's Milk Bank to donate breast milk.

“Some may come in and have an entire deep freezer full. Their baby's getting close to a year of age, and they were like I don't think I'm going to be able to use all this milk," Oklahoma Mother’s Milk Bank executive director Becky Mannel said. “Others may donate regularly throughout that course of breastfeeding."

All donors go through a screening process before they're allowed to donate. The milk is pooled and pasteurized before it's sent out to families, even to babies with special dietary needs.

"We'll talk with parents on a case-by-case basis,” Mannel said. “Tell me what's going on. Tell me what your baby's been feeding and see what we can do to help bridge the gap.”

If they're not going through the milk bank, Mannel said mothers shouldn't accept donor milk from people they don't know, as well.

"If it's your co-worker, your neighbor, your family member, that you know their health history. You know do they smoke, what medications they're taking,” Mannel said. “There's a lot of those questions milk from the milk bank is going to be screened for.”