Kentucky mom of 9-month-old twins goes through multiple baby formula cans weekly, aims to help others, too

Baby formula shortage ‘devastating’ for parents Allie Seckel, a certified infant feeding technician in Kodiak, Alaska, tells Fox News Digital about her Formula Exchange Group on Facebook, which she launched in January to help parents with the baby formula shortage.NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
A mother of twins in Kentucky is raising her hand to help parents like her who are searching and suffering amid today’s nationwide baby formula shortage.Cierra Vos said she’s determined to ensure that babies are fed as she navigates the challenge of feeding her own kids, a boy and a girl, just 9 months old. On a quest for formula, Cierra Vos, 26, a medical lab technician from rural Union County, Kentucky, drove to three different cities up to one hour away. AMERICA’S BABY FORMULA SHORTAGE: PHOTOS SHOW THE STARTLING REALITYAfter all that, she and her husband, Dalton Vos, were able to track down only two cans of the brand they use.
Kentucky mom Cierra Vos (at right, with her husband, Dalton, and their babies) told Fox News Digital that given the formula shortage, her twins have yogurt for breakfast, a bottle in the morning and a bottle at night. “Before this crisis happened, they would get formula multiple times a day,” Vos said.
(Reflections By Talea Photography)”We panicked,” Cierra Vos told Fox News Digital. “We realized it was going to be a problem finding more.”The couple’s twins, Rollyn and Landrie, were at one point served formula plus breast milk. When Vos tried to switch them to another brand, they began having poor stools, she said.PARENTS SEARCH FRANTICALLY FOR HOMEMADE BABY FORMULA RECIPES AMID SHORTAGENow, they’re served a more expensive brand that doesn’t give them acid reflux and digestive problems, according to Vos, who stopped breastfeeding when she went back to work.”You might get three days out of [one can], but that’s pushing it.” Vos spends $30-$35 for a 19.5 ounce can of formula. She goes through one can in two days, using roughly five scoops for a 7-ounce bottle — that amount doubles since she’s feeding twins. Vos said, “You might get three days out of [one can], but that’s pushing it.”
Shelves typically stocked with baby formula sit mostly empty at a store in San Antonio, Texas, on Tuesday, May 10, 2022. Parents across the U.S. have been scrambling to find baby formula amid supply disruptions and a massive safety recall that have swept many leading brands off store shelves. 
(AP Photo/Eric Gay)”For the majority of infants, changing brands of standard formula will not have adverse consequences,” Jenelle Ferry, M.D., neonatologist and director of feeding, nutrition and infant development at Pediatrix Neonatology of Florida, told Fox News Digital in a statement. “In cases of infants on specialty formulas, like hydrolyzed formulas, check with your pediatrician for other brand options with similar characteristics,” she also said.Ferry noted that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) warns against attempting to make your own formula. “I’m pretty stocked up now, but I’m trying to use it scarcely. That way, I can give it to someone who is in need more than I am.” In addition, excess water in baby formulas can “slow growth and development” or “lead to major health problems including seizures,” according to the AAP. It recommends following manufacturer instructions when preparing formulas.ALASKA MOM SAYS BABY FORMULA SHORTAGE ‘CREATING EXTRA PANIC’ AS SHE LAUNCHED GROUP FOR STRUGGLING PARENTSVos said her saving grace has been her mother-in-law, Tracy Cheatham, who has been sending her formula for the twins through the mail from Central Florida.
Tracy Cheatham of Central Florida is seen with her twin grandchildren, Landrie and Rollyn, during the Christmas 2021 season.
(Tracy Cheatham)”I’m pretty stocked up now, but I’m trying to use it scarcely,” Vos said. “That way, I can give it to someone who is in need more than I am.”Vos said she’s been connecting with other parents on Facebook — exchanging ideas on how to combat the shortage by keeping one another informed on locations that have formula in stock.”It’s very disheartening. You walk in there — a lot of your cheaper formula is gone and a lot of your high-end, organic natural is on the shelf,” she added. “As far as your big cans or boxes, that’s gone.”SWITCHING BABY FORMULAS? HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOWRecently, Vos has been trying to lend support to a mother of newborn twins. Vos and Cheatham (her mother-in-law) have been hunting for the woman’s baby formula brand in stores.
Landrie and Rollyn Vos, now 9 months old, are seen in a newborn photo taken in 2021 by photographer Talea Gaw.
(Reflections By Talea Photography)Cheatham told Fox News Digital that the woman uses food stamps and is part of WIC (the government-run Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children ages 5 and under). “If they just can’t find it anywhere else, I’ll go out, ship it. It’s the least I can do to make sure these babies have formula.” “If someone is dependent on WIC, they have to walk in a store. That’s the only place where they can physically get [formula],” Cheatham said.”Unfortunately, like the young lady Cierra was trying to help, [parents on WIC] can’t go online and order the formula because [those outlets] don’t take WIC.”
Kentucky-based mom Cierra Vos said her mother-in-law, Tracy Cheatham (shown above) of Central Florida sends her baby formula at least once a month. “She’ll send me a box of four,” Vos said.
(Tracy Cheatham)Cheatham said she’s had luck ordering formula on Amazon, where it’s possible to sign up for alerts to learn when brands are in stock. She ended up sending the woman with newborn twins a package of formula similar to the brand her own twin grandchildren use, as that was the only option Cheatham found in stock.NYC PEDIATRICIAN SHARES WISE WAYS TO GET THROUGH TODAY’S BABY FORMULA SHORTAGESo far, Cheatham has not run into issues buying bulk packages through Amazon; both she and Vos said they’re thankful the twin babies will be weaned off formula soon. 
Kentucky parents Dalton and Cierra Vos are shown in a photo snapped in 2021 as they hold their twins, Landrie and Rollyn, now 9 months old.
(Reflections By Talea Photography)”I already felt the obligation to send [my son and daughter-in-law] diapers or formula, but to have someone who doesn’t have the finances to be able to do that or someone who does not have the support system to be able to do that, I can see these mothers saying, ‘What do I do?’ I cannot imagine being a mother right now.”Cheatham said she will continue offering to help strangers amid the shortage.BABY FORMULA SHORTAGE SENDS TENNESSEE MOM INTO A PANIC: ‘I BROKE DOWN’”If they just can’t find it anywhere else, I’ll go out, ship it,” she added. “It’s the least I can do to make sure these babies have formula.”Vos echoed the words of her mother-in-law — offering help to other parents any way she can.
Cierra Vos of Union County, Kentucky, is encouraging parents to reach out to her on Facebook amid the baby formula shortage. Vos told Fox News Digital she’s been exchanging tips and sharing locations that have stocked shelves.
(Cierra Vos)”I hope they don’t go unfed,” she said of young children. “My heart hurts for that. Check with your pediatrician. Check with your milk banks. Breast milk is being donated every single day.”CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPVos added, “Between my mother, my mother-in-law and my husband, we will do everything we can in our power to help find something because we know how that feels first hand.” Vos said she encourages Americans to “buy what they need” to in hopes of giving all parents better access to formula.

Mojtaba Sadira

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