Quick Access to UHS MyChart

Free and secure access to your UHS healthcare team and services.

Infant Care and Nutrition

Feeding infants during the national formula shortage

We hope these tips will help answer your questions about feeding your infant.

Please see the links in the drop-down menu below to help you during the baby formula shortage. For a downloadable PDF with this information, click here.

Formula Feeding

  • When preparing formula for your baby, use water according to instructions. Once prepared then you CAN mix with your breastmilk.
    • Babies in the first 6 months after birth do not need water or other liquids such as juices in addition to formula or breast milk, unless specifically advised by a pediatrician.  Adding extra water to formula or giving juices reduces the amount of nutrients baby will receive.  This can slow growth and development. Extra water also disturbs electrolyte and mineral balances such as calcium, sodium and potassium, which can lead to major health problems including seizures.  So always, mix formula as directed by the manufacturer unless specifically guided to change these instructions for infants with special health needs. (“How to safely prepare Baby Formula with Water,” Healthychildren.org).
  • WIC provides funding for formula, NOT the physical can of formula.
  • DO NOT WATER DOWN FORMULA, always follow the manufactures instructions on preparation of the formula.
  • Discard any formula left in the bottle after feeding your baby. The combination of formula and your infant’s saliva can cause bacteria to grow, making your baby sick.
  • Never use formula after the “Use BY” date on the container.


  • If you qualify, WIC will pay for a breast pump.
  • Health Insurance will cover a breast pump upon discharge with a prescription order from your provider. Some insurances will pay for the pump prior to delivery.
  • Most women can produce some level of breastmilk to facilitate the nutritional needs of your baby.
  • Exclusive pumping of the breast is still breastfeeding and a method to provide nutrition to your baby.
  • Outpatient Lactation is available for consult and appointments. All you need to do is call 607-763-5306 and leave a message for a call back. In person consults by appointment and phone consults are available.

Contact your baby’s provider with any concerns or issues with feeding.

What if you still cannot find any formula during the baby formula shortage? 

Here are some links to information that can help you to make the best decisions:

With the baby formula shortage, what should I do if I can’t find any?

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, there have been significant shortages of infant formulas nationwide. Current shortages have been largely caused by supply chain issues and the recent recall of several baby formula products over contamination concerns.

Click here to read this article in its entiretyThere are some tips on finding baby formula during the shortage, and what you may safely consider if you absolutely can’t find any.

Is Homemade Baby Formula Safe?

Infants need a specific balance of nutrients – not too much or too little of anything – to grow and be healthy. Human breastmilk contains everything in exactly the right amounts, and infant formula can provide excellent nutrition when families can’t or choose not to breastfeed. But, keep in mind: It’s important for your baby’s health to stick with products that meet federal standards, prepared according to directions on the label.

Click here to read this article in its entiretyThere are several formula feeding tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

How to Safely Prepare Baby Formula With Water

Infant formula comes in three forms: powder formula, concentrated liquid formula and ready-to-feed (nonconcentrated) formula. If you use infant formula for your baby, no matter which form, be sure to follow directions closely.  Formula that is diluted with too much water, for example, can cause serious health and development problems for your baby.  It’s also important to use clean water for a safe source free of bacteria or other microorganisms that may cause disease, and low in certain minerals and contaminants that may be harmful. 

Click here to learn more. There are several formula feeding tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Resources to help you during the Formula Shortage