Formula Shortages

Feeding baby formula

Supply chain issues or weather-related disasters may create shortages for infant formula. It is important to breastfeed your infant, if possible, to reduce the demand on formula supplies. Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health does provide a variety of breastfeeding supports

It is important to not make dangerous choices for your child in the event of these shortages: 

  • Do not feed your child formula that is part of a recall. However, do not throw the formula out. Instead, you may be able to return to the store for a refund and/or exchange. 
  • Do not make your own infant formula. These recipes may seem less expensive but they are likely not safe, will not meet your baby's nutritional needs, and may cause death. 
  • Do not substitute toddler formulas for your infant. This formula is not geared towards your baby's nutritional needs. 
  • Do not substitute cow's milk. Cow's milk has too many proteins and minerals for a baby's kidneys and the nutrients in milk may cause intestinal bleeding. 
  • Do not substitute raw milk. This unpasteurized product may contact harmful bacteria or germs that can make a baby very sick. 
  • Do not use milk alternatives (soy, oat, rice, coconut, cashew, almond, etc.) This product is too low in protein and minerals and may include sugars your baby does not need. 
  • Do not dilute infant formula. This can cause your baby nutritional imbalances and lead to health problems including slowed growth and development, or seizures. Only follow label instructions or those given to you by your pediatrician. 
  • Do not purchase infant formula from outside the U.S. because the product could be counterfeit. Also, this formula is not reviewed by the FDA

Make these decisions instead: 

  • Talk with your pediatrician and ask if they are able to get you formula from the local formula representatives or charities. 
  • Contact your local WIC office
  • Check smaller stores and drug stores. These stores may not be out of supply when larger providers are. 
  • Purchase formula online from well-recognized distributors and pharmacies, rather than individually sold or auction sites. 

If you have concerns about infant formula, contact your health care provider or FDA at 1-888-INFO-FDA (1-888-463-6332) or file a report online at MedWatch

For more information visit

Additional Resources

  1. Public Health

    Physical Address
    407 S 26th St.
    Bismarck, ND 58504


    Mailing Address
    P.O. Box 5503
    Bismarck, ND 58504