Phoenix mother turns to social media as baby formula shortage grows

Moms across the Valley are finding empty shelves when they go to buy baby formula.
Published: May. 4, 2022 at 10:54 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Moms across the Valley are finding empty shelves when they go to buy baby formula. For one mom in Phoenix, finding the specific type of formula she’s looking for has proven even more difficult.

Jessica Contreras’ son Hartford is six months old. “Our routine consists of steroids twice a day, pretty much throughout his body. [We have] Two different types of steroids, moisturizing ointment a few times a day, daily allergy medicine, probiotics and bleach baths three to four times a week,” she said.

Over the past few months, he’s battled moderate eczema and severe allergies, leaving scabs, cuts and bruises all over his skin. “We found out he was allergic to eggs and casein, which is a protein found in most mammal’s milk, cow’s milk, and goat’s milk, so that was helpful because we found out the formula he was using had casein, which most formulas do,” Contreras said.

Because of Hartford’s allergies, Contreras can’t breastfeed him. So she did what any desperate mom would do, she asked for help on social media. “It was beyond what I ever imagined; when I posted on Facebook, I really thought I was just asking my friends and family to keep an eye out when they went to the store,” Contreras said. “Within days, I had moms not only in Arizona but throughout the country offering to help me.”

Hartford now has enough formula for a few months, and Contreras acknowledges she is lucky. “I purchased some formula on Offer Up, and I sent money to women throughout the country, and thankfully they returned formula, but that’s not always the case.”

She now hopes to pay it forward, already sending formula she will not be using to other moms in the Valley.