SSN Commentary

Formula Shortage Exposes Lack of Breastfeeding Support

Policy field

Connect with the author

Purdue University

Originally published as "Formula Shortage Exposes Lack of Breastfeeding Support,"  The Progressive Magazine, July 5, 2022.

The baby formula shortage continues to frustrate parents who are still paying significantly more for the product — if they’re able to find it on grocery store shelves at all. While President Joe Biden initiated Operation Fly Formula to ship in formula from other countries more than a month ago, a factory at the center of the crisis was shut down again recently due to flooding, causing the supply of formula to plummet once again. 

Over the past few months, social media has exploded with posts suggesting that the shortage might spur reluctant parents to embrace breastfeeding. But this advice fails to acknowledge that breastfeeding without supplementing with formula is not an option available to everyone. Many workplaces lack sufficient accommodations for nursing employees who need more accessible spaces for pumping breast milk and a more flexible breaktime.