Breastfeeding, Formula and Shortages

I breastfed all of my kids and worked as well. It wasn’t always convenient and sometimes it was a pain, and time consuming, but I did it anyway because I knew it was best for the babies and it was a whole hell of a lot cheaper than buying formula too.


I’m fully aware that some women for legitimate reasons are unable to breastfeed their babies, but for those that don’t have a legitimate reason, why should they be eligible to receive government funded formula for those babies? That’s a different post though.

I was at the grocery store today and there were signs on each entrance and exit door stating that customers were limited to purchasing 3 cans of baby formula per day. Underneath that it stated that WIC participants were not included in the limitation.

Now that started me wondering how much formula WIC allows daily for program members. I tried calling the 800 number for WIC in Texas but the offices were closed for the day so I found a number for Texas Lactation Support that is available 24/7 so I called that number. They didn’t know the answer to my question but were very friendly and advised me where to call in the morning. I have to give Texas a high five for trying to educate more women in need of WIC services about the benefits of breastfeeding and the obvious goal of their efforts to lower the costs of the program which is federally funded. I don’t know if other states include something like this in their WIC programs, but I would certainly hope so.

Using Google I found a few different numbers for those formula amounts  and they vary quite a lot. Here are two examples I found and they probably differ quite a bit depending on which state you’re in, if they’re correct at all.

#1) How much formula does WIC give you?

When your baby is age 0-3 months

Formula: up to but no more than 9 cans of 12.4 ounce powder*

When your baby is age 4-5 months

Formula: up to but no more than 10 cans of 12.4 ounce powder*

When your baby is age 6-11 months

Formula: up to but no more than 7 cans – 12.4 ounce powder*
*All formula amounts are approximate

#2) How many cans of formula does WIC give a month?

From birth to 3 months , WIC provides 9 cans of powder or approximately 26 ounces of reconstituted formula a day.

Months 4  5, WIC provides 10 cans of powder or approximately 30 ounces of
reconstituted formula a day.

The first example is supposed to be monthly amounts, while the second clearly states daily. This brings me to the whole reason I’m bothering with any of this.

My reason is I want to know if the amounts available to mothers receiving WIC are closer to the second example than the first, why are WIC recipients excluded from the limitation? If there’s a shortage of baby formula why should babies whose parents are able to pay for formula limited to amounts they can buy but mothers who are given theirs free are not?

I don’t have a problem with anyone that needs help receiving that help but I don’t believe when it comes to any type of shortage that their needs are greater than anyone else’s.

I need more information.  Especially as how there seems to be stocks of baby formula on the border. The Biden Administration claims this is because of adherence to the terms of  the Flores Settlement Agreement that requires foods etc. be available for undocumented and unaccompanied minors that are detained there.  This may very well be so but as there’s plenty available there whoever decides what inventory is needed is in the wrong position.  Depending on how large the stockpile is and whatever isn’t in use should be shared about the country to legal citizens.

Here’s an idea. Quit letting every Tom, Dick, and Harry into the country and they’ll quit sending their children ahead knowing that they’ll be accepted if they’re alone and not turned away.  Visitation and contact with family members regardless of immigration status and family reunification services are also required by the Flores Agreement.

Regardless of that litigation, I would think the first duty would be to your own citizens.  Someone can always file another lawsuit.

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