Baby formula shipment lands in Indianapolis

Another shipment of hypoallergenic baby formula is set to arrive as early as Wednesday.
Published: May. 23, 2022 at 12:15 AM EDT
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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WNDU) - A military aircraft landed in Indianapolis today, carrying 132 pallets of much-needed baby formula earlier today. The shipment is part of President Biden’s “Operation Fly Formula.”

Indianapolis was selected because it is a central location in the US, and FedEx has a strong presence at Indianapolis International Airport.

This shipment will provide enough hypoallergenic formula to feed 9,000 babies and 18,000 toddlers for a week.

Hypoallergenic baby formula can be fed to babies who are intolerant to the protein in cow’s milk.

Weighing 78 thousand pounds, the shipment is enough for over 500,000 baby bottles.

Based on a report this month by the US Lactation Consultant Association, animal milk, homemade formula recipes, and toddler milk should never be used as a substitute for formula or human milk for children under the age of one.

While lactation experts admit that breastfeeding is the oldest and most surefire method of feeding young children, some mothers cannot breastfeed, and some may choose not to. Still, babies need to be provided for regardless of the method.

The current recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics are for human milk or commercially produced and tested formula to be the primary source of nutrition through an infant’s first year of life. The recommendation includes introducing solids around six months of age. When a family is unable or chooses not to provide human milk, commercial infant formula is considered a safe and suitable alternative.

“A lot of these infants, that is their only form of nutrition, and when you simply can’t get it, or you don’t have the means to get it, that is really what these families are facing. When we are desperate, when we have families that are facing empty shelves, we don’t want people to feel that pressure or to take those risks and experiment. What I saw today and what has been expressed to us is that this is the first shipment of several to help us bridge that gap, and then the ability for us to make sure we get the most vulnerable children the supplies they need, and we work together to do that. It’s just more important now than ever,” said Dr. Emily C. Webber, MD, Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis.

There are also milk banks where mothers can pay for milk. Informal sharing of breastmilk has been a practice for thousands of years. However, the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine wants mothers to know that two essential strategies need to be implemented to ensure safety for the infant: (1) medical screening of the donor and (2) safe milk handling practices can maximize the safety of community-based breast milk sharing.

The White House announced a second shipment would arrive sometime this week, saying they believe it will be Wednesday.

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