Doctors warn against “Old School Baby Formula” recipe circulating Facebook amid government shutdown


BIRMINGHAM, Ala (WIAT)– Moms who rely on WIC to provide formula for their children are looking to social media for advice amid the partial government shutdown.

According the USDA, funding is provided through February, but there’s concern when March arrives.

The advice that’s being passed along through Facebook is concerning doctors.

A post with instructions on how to make “Old School Baby Formula” is getting a lot of shares, but doctors say the mixture could have severely harmful effects.

The concoction consists of evaporated milk, distilled water, Karo corn syrup, and Poly-Vi-Sol or liquid vitamins.

CBS 42 News Reporter Jessalyn Adams bought the ingredients and compared it to regular formula.

The post is being shared with the caption “No food stamps or WIC?”

Jeanna Jackson is the Clinical Nutrition and Lactation Director for Children’s of Alabama. 

Jackson says the mixture is not a safe alternative to formula.

“There can be an imbalance of nutrients that can cause toxicity of vitamins, and it can cause all kinds of different symptoms, and that is why we don’t recommend anything outside of infant formula.”

Jackson says the complications caused by consuming the homemade formula could lead up to death.

Jackson says breast milk and clinical formula are the best options.

If the partial government shutdown continues to March and causes WIC recipients to need to seek out other options, the Mothers’ Milk Bank in Birmingham is an option.

Executive Director Kristina Habchi says the breastmilk bank serves babies in the NICU first, but excess milk is available to moms in need.

“Before you get to that resort [homemade formula], I would consider reaching out to us, reach out to family and friends for assistance, as well as the local food banks.”

Habchi says they will try to help the community in the worst case scenario.

“Come March, if there’s an issue, we’ll reach out to our donors and try to bulk up our supply and get more milk into the community to help that need.”

Alabama’s WIC Program Director Amanda Martin says WIC is continuing to see participants.

You can find the latest information about WIC here. 

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