ST. LOUIS – St. Louis area health agencies are asking parents not to use homemade formula to feed their babies.

Finding baby formula for many parents is a little tough right now. Shortages worldwide are also affecting U.S. store shelves.

“While we know this is a stressful time for families who are feeding their infants and children with formula, we urge everyone to REFRAIN from using homemade formulas and from purchasing or receiving breastmilk from strangers,” St. Francois County Health Center WIC said in a Facebook post.

The agency also said these formulas are “inadequate in nutrients like vitamins and minerals, and they are made with large, potentially harmful proteins. They also run the risk of being contaminated with bacteria, putting babies at risk for foodborne illness.”

Parents should also only purchase donor breastmilk from a reputable milk bank, according to the health center.

St. Francois County Health Center WIC said anyone who needs assistance should call them at 573-431-1947 on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Below are some tips for parents from the health center.

  1. Shop around! Walmart, Harps, Schnucks, Save a Lot, and Mikes Market are WIC approved stores that all carry formula.
  2. Check out stores that are not WIC approved. Yes, it will be necessary to use other funds for these stores as they do NOT accept WIC, a lot of them do have formula in stock. Think Walgreens, Dollar General, Target (online), and Aldi.
  3. Check the clearance aisle!! We’ve had SEVERAL reports that Walmart’s have discounted formula in the CLEARANCE aisle!
  4. If you see a formula that is fully stocked, but it’s not the same as what’s on your eWIC card, CALL US! We can see how and if we can get that option on your card.