Newswise — CHICAGO – As the infant formula shortage continues to affect families across the nation, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics advocates for long-term solutions to ensure that infants don’t face hunger and food insecurity due to such shortages in the future. The Academy is rallying support for a bill that would offer more opportunities for working mothers to breastfeed their babies by expanding workplace accommodations.
The Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act would provide lactating, working parents with the time and space to express milk in the workplace and offer employers the flexibility to identify the solutions that best fit their businesses. The PUMP Act passed the House, and the Academy is advocating for it to be brought for a vote in the Senate. If passed, the PUMP Act would expand protections to nearly 9 million women of childbearing age.
“The PUMP Act is crucial at a time when many working mothers don’t have the basic accommodations or allotted time to express milk for their infants. Returning to work is often one reason mothers who initiate breastfeeding decide to stop or to supplement with infant formula,” said registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy President Kevin L. Sauer.
As the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, the Academy continues to advocate for creating long-term solutions for infant formula shortages by reaching out to the Biden Administration and Congress and collaborating with partner organizations to address the shortages. On May 19, the Senate unanimously passed the Access to Baby Formula Act, which now awaits President Biden’s signature.
The Academy offers the following recommendations during the infant formula shortage:
- Parents should speak with their pediatrician to determine the best approach to feeding an infant under the current circumstances.
- Breastfeeding by mothers will reduce the amount of formula needed to keep infants fed during this shortage and should be considered a frontline strategy for newborns.
- Donor human breastmilk from milk banks can be an option for some infants with critical needs, but parents are advised against sharing breastmilk or purchasing it from the internet.
- Homemade formulas are not safe or nutritionally adequate for infants, nor are milks from other animals or plants as substitutes for human milk or infant formulas.
The Academy calls on communities to continue to play a leading role in communicating with parents and mobilizing formula stock that may exist at hospitals and medical offices to increase access.
For more information, visit the Academy’s Infant Formula Safety Resources on eatright.org.
Representing more than 112,000 credentialed nutrition and dietetics practitioners, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at www.eatright.org.