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'There is help on the way': Pediatricians breathe sigh of relief after first overseas formula shipment lands in Indiana

Alicia Butler, who has a 5-month-old, said news of the shipment is exciting, but she's worried it still won't be enough.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Tens of thousands of pounds of specialty baby formula arrived in Indianapolis Sunday. 

"It is such a relief to know that there is help on the way and that our families are going to be able to find formula more easily over the next few weeks," said Dr. Emily Scott.

Dr. Scott, a pediatrician, is the past president of the Indiana Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

"I have seen so many parents breaking down in the office in tears over this formula crisis, and it is just heartbreaking," Scott said. 

Alicia Butler, who has a 5-month-old, said news of the shipment is exciting, but she's worried it still won't be enough.

"It should be a priority," Butler said. "I've seen that they had a 78,000-pound shipment come in of formula, which is amazing, but what are they going to do when everyone goes out and gets all the formula and then we're back to where we are here?"

Butler's baby Hailsey has problems digesting most formulas and needs hypoallergenic varieties.

"I actually just went to Target like two days ago and they probably only have like four things the formula on the shelves."

Dr. Scott said if you need a specific type of formula, have family and friends keep an eye out for it and if you still can't find it, call your doctor to see if they have any samples. 

She said never dilute your baby's formula. 

Scott said if your baby is over 6 months and is healthy, it could be safe to substitute cow's whole milk for a very short period of time.

"If you cannot find anything at all and your baby is over six months, it's okay to use cow's whole milk for a super short period of time," Scott said. "I'm talking about days to no more than a week. I would rather a family do that than not have anything to feed their baby, but long use of whole milk in an infant less than 12 months of age can cause babies to be anemic and have other issues."

Dr. Scott said it's important to talk to your pediatrician before making major changes like switching them to whole milk, even if it's just a temporary switch.

 Contact reporter Rachel Droze at rdroze@whas11.com or on FacebookTwitter or Instagram

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