BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Since the pandemic began, baby formula became hard to come by, and the situation seems to have only gotten worse.

According to IRI, a market research firm, baby formula supply was down nearly twenty percent last month across major retailers from where it was before the pandemic began. For many parents, this means stocking up whenever possible, and for some, that is more difficult than for others

One mother from Alderson says she is thankful her children are all past the age where baby formula is needed. But, that was only recently and she remembers how stressful life was just a few months ago.

“It’s a good thirty forty five minute drive to any WalMart, and I would normally buy four to six cans at a time to get through the month. I would have to limit that to two or I would have to buy her two different kinds of formula,” said Samantha Modley.

Modley said she feels for those who are still consistently in need of baby formula, especially in mothers who are not able to breastfeed.

“Absolutely! My friend is actually about to have a baby in August and I can’t imagine being worried about whether or not you are going to be able to go to the local grocery store and grab what you needed,” said Modley.

On top of that, the recent FDA recall of all formulas made in the Abbott Nutrition facility in Michigan has only worsened the already empty shelves.

Dr. Stacey Dickenson with Access Health Pediatrics, said it does not apply to any specialty powders or their soy formula. She said it is unfortunate, as Similac is the only formula covered by the Women, Infant, and Children program.

However, she wants to reassure parents that changing a baby’s formula to what is available will not harm the child.

“The truth is, nutritionally as long as you are still within the baby formulas, your baby is going to be fine. As they get older they may notice the difference,” said Dickenson.

Dickenson said if your child came in to contact with the recalled formula or is showing adverse symptoms, it is crucial to take immediate action.

“They are not, ‘my baby is a little gassy, my baby is a little fussier than normal’ these are sick babies, they have diarrhea they may have bloody stools they typically have a fever, they look sick, if you see that with your baby get to your doctor,” said Dickenson.

She added it is always recommended to breastfeed whenever possible. Dickenson said if you go to similacrecall.com and enter the lot number found on the bottom of the can, you can figure out if the can you bought was recalled.

Abbott released the following statement to 59News:

“We value the trust parents place in us for high quality and safe nutrition and we’ll do whatever it takes to keep that trust and resolve this situation.”

For additional information, visit Abbott.