Where to Find Formula in Massachusetts


First of all, I think we can all agree that however you choose to feed your baby, they deserve to be fed. In February, one of the country’s largest formula producers recalled their products and shut down further production to investigate their possible involvement in connection to illnesses in formula-fed infants. This led to where we are now, with an estimated 40% of the nation out of formula. [source] While the FDA and Abbott Nutrition have recently reached an agreement to reopen their effected production plant, it could still be months before our supply chain returns. [source]

So where does that leave us, locally?

First things first; don’t panic.

Call your pediatrician. Many offices stock sample cans and may have some on-hand. Your child’s doctor will also have recommendations about whether or not changing brands or formula types would be advisable for your family.

Check smaller stores. Drug stores, convenience stores, and smaller-chain grocery stores may not be as out of stock as often as larger corporate stores. You can also call ahead and ask what their stock levels are and when they anticipate a restock.

Look into purchasing directly from the manufacturer. Enfamil and Gerber both have online stores. Some manufacturer websites (like Enfamil and Similac) also have a store locator tool with real-time stock updates.

Buy online. If you can afford to wait a few extra days, ordering online can help boost your supply until local stock comes back on-line. Be savvy with where you shop and stick to recognizable stores and distributors. Stay away from sites that may be scams looking to prey on desperate parents.

generic formula finder
Image sourced from Perrigo Pediatrics

Switch to generic. It is interesting to note that pretty much all generic formulas on the market today are made by the same manufacturer and that generics are essentially interchangeable! You can learn more about this directly from the manufacturer here.

Local resources

Community action organizations in your area might have formula on-hand to provide or know where to direct you to find some. This includes organizations like:

Online resources

Swampscott, MA mom Keiko Zoll created The Free Formula Exchange to help connect formula-feeding caregivers with much-needed formula. This is an online mutual-aid tool that operates solely to connect formula-feeders with formula.

The FDA has also released a helpful chart of more easily found formulas paired with more sought after brands as a substitution.

Facebook groups can also be a great resource!

What not to do

I’ve seen a few memes floating around with instructions on how to make your own infant formula, or how to substitute goat’s milk for formula. You are your child’s best advocate, so be sure to consult your pediatrician before taking them off of commercial formula.

Don’t dilute baby formula in an effort to stretch it further. Formula is carefully made to ensure each ounce provides the nutrition babies need. Adding too much water or not enough powder can drastically alter the nutrition or interfere with an infant’s ability to absorb nutrients.

If you are able to find your preferred formula on the shelves, please think of your neighbor and don’t hoard. Buy the formula you need.

I’ve also seen some people encouraging others to change their Amazon country to Canada or the UK to find formula in-stock. Obviously use your best judgement, but we don’t want a strain on our supply chain to become a burden on families in another country. Also, Amazon won’t ship internationally, so if you did try to go this route, you would need to find a third party vendor who ships themselves. Probably better just to stick with these other options we’ve suggested.

Have you found formula shelves empty in your town? What are your best tips for finding formula in Central Mass? Do you need to vent about formula-feeding stress? Let us know! Join our Community Char Group!


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