DPH Offers Guidance And Resources On How To Navigate The Infant Formula Supply Shortage

DOVER (May 17, 2022)  The Division of Public Health (DPH) is providing guidance to families struggling to find formula due to a shortage caused by a supply chain issues, including avoiding taking certain measures that could be harmful to their infant’s health.

DPH sent out a letter from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau to families and maternal child health stakeholders, offering individuals information on how to safely navigate the shortages. 

Parents and caregivers are offered the following guidance:   

  •  Talk to your doctor: Families should consult their pediatrician to discuss the best options for their child. Doctors can provide guidance on comparable formula and specialized formula to meet their babies’ medical and nutrition needs. 
  • Consider a substitute formula: For most babies, it is OK to use a similar version of their formula if their regular brand of formula is not currently available. Talk with your baby’s pediatrician about alternatives.  
  • Check the manufacture’s site online for formula availability before going to a store to purchase.    

DPH reminds parents/guardians: 

  • Do not make or use homemade formula: Per the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA), homemade formulas often lack or have inadequate amounts of critical nutrients vital for a babies growth and development and in some cases can cause infants to be hospitalized due to low calcium. 
  • Never dilute formula: Watering down infant formula can be dangerous and even life-threatening, leading to a serious nutritional deficit and health issues. 
  • Consider a substitute formula: For most babies, if their regular brand of formula is not currently available, using a similar version of their formula is ok. Talk with your baby’s pediatrician about alternatives.  
  • If not receiving breast milk, formula should be used until your baby turns 1 year old, but if your child is over six months you can start to supplement nutrition with some solids. Talk to your pediatrician about introducing some solids like fortified cereal, mashed bananas and pureed poultry and beans. 
  • Talk to your doctor: Families should consult their pediatrician to discuss the best options for their child. Doctors can provide guidance on comparable formula and specialized formula to meet their babies’ medical and nutrition needs.  
  • Breastfeed your child: When possible, breastfeeding is the healthiest option for children under age 1. 
  • For parents who are breastfeeding or need additional support, they may want to consider a lactation consultant or support groups, or seek assistance to access a breast pump at a low cost through your insurance provider, Medicaid, or WIC to assist with milk supply. There are also breast milk banks that properly store, test and distribute donated mothers’ milk to meet the specific needs of infants for whom human milk is prescribed by physicians.  The Delaware WIC program offers breastfeeding assistance to new mothers, including peer counselors, lactation consultants and manual pumps. Details on WIC’s breastfeeding programs can be found here. 

DPH has also taken the following steps to help parents and caregivers as the supply chain issues get resolved nationwide: 

  • WIC recipients have been asked to return any unused formula to the Food Bank of Delaware or another state agency food pantries.   
  • WIC recipients also were granted a waiver to substitute formula this winter when supply chain issues that were made worse by a recall first emerged. A chart of formula alternatives was created to help parents and caregivers select the right formula for their child.   
  • Parents who are breastfeeding or need additional support may want to consider a lactation consultant or support groups, or seek assistance to access a breast pump at a low cost through their insurance provider, Medicaid, or WIC to assist with milk supply. The Delaware WIC program offers breastfeeding assistance to new mothers, including peer counselors, lactation consultants and manual pumps. Details on WIC’s breastfeeding programs can be found here.   
  • DPH reminds parents that state and community resources that could be helpful during this time are available, such as WIC, SNAP, or TANF to help with the cost of buying formula or to find other infant supplies through local food banks including the Food Bank of Delaware. DPH also offers a breastfeeding guide for mothers who want to find support or learn more about breastfeeding.

Several birth hospitals in Delaware also offer breastfeeding support and parent education. Individuals should check with their local hospital to see what services are offered.   

Delawareans are encouraged to visit dethrives.com for up-to-date information on Delaware’s response to the infant formula supply chain issues, call 211 for community resources and services near you, or follow DEThrives and DPH on Facebook and Instagram.     

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Anyone who is deaf, hard of hearing, Deaf-Blind or speech disabled can contact DPH by dialing 711 first using specialized devices (i.e., TTY, TeleBraille, voice devices). The 711 service is free and to learn more about how it works, please visit delawarerelay.com.   

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. 


The Mezzanine Gallery to Exhibit “The Pandemic Paintings” by Theresa Walton

On view from June 12 – July 24, 2020
Visit the Gallery in-person or view it online

Wilmington, Del. (June 10, 2020) – The Pandemic Paintings, an exhibition of watercolor portraits of health care workers and scenes that represent hope to them by Theresa (Terre) Walton, will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from June 12-July 24, 2020. For those unable to visit in-person, an online gallery will be available on our main website on June 12. Walton, a retired art educator with over 25 years of experience, paints in both watercolors and acrylics and has exhibited in various venues in the Newark and Wilmington area.

The Pandemic Paintings started with Walton’s commitment to paint every day during the quarantine, and a spontaneous watercolor painted from a photo of her son’s fiancé in a mask before work. After posting the watercolor on Facebook, Walton received an avalanche of requests from family and friends to paint their loved ones working in health care. For over a week she painted up to four portraits a day to keep up with the demand. The result is a collection of over 35 portraits of people “connected to her by five degrees of separation.”

Self-portrait, 2020, watercolor, 5″ x 7″

Moving on from the portraits, hope became the theme of the next phase of the quarantine watercolors. Walton requested from that same sphere of friends to send her a photo of something “that represents hope or a photo of what you hope to do when this whole thing is over.” Walton received many images of nature (walks, wildlife, and gardens) and water.

Most recently she is painting a series of loose, spontaneous images of her own choosing. Walton said, “I am still getting portrait requests and still fulfilling those requests, but primarily have moved on to the loose, relaxed work of the final phase, and hope.”

Images from Health Workers/ Five Degrees of Separation, 2020, watercolor, all images 5″ x 7″

The Mezzanine Gallery is open to the public weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and is located in the Carvel State Office Building, 820 N. French Street, Wilmington. Visitors must wear face coverings and maintain 6 feet distance from other individuals not in their household.

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Contact: Leeann Wallett, Program Officer, Communications and Marketing
302-577-8280, leeann.wallett@delaware.gov


The Delaware Division of the Arts, a branch of the Delaware Department of State, is dedicated to cultivating and supporting the arts to enhance the quality of life for all Delawareans. Together with its advisory body, the Delaware State Arts Council, the Division administers grants and programs that support arts programming, educate the public, increase awareness of the arts, and integrate the arts into all facets of Delaware life. For more information about the Delaware Division of the Arts, visit arts.delaware.gov or call 302-577-8278.