THURSTON COUNTY, Wash. - The ongoing crisis over the baby formula shortage continues impacting families everywhere, including a family in Olympia who is enrolled in the Women, Infants and Children Nutrition Program commonly referred to as WIC.
Paul Segura has a daughter who was born on February 16, named IsLo which is shortened for two words ‘Island Love.’
"WIC has been absolutely amazing with trying to switch formulas that are similar and helping us find similar formulas," said Segura. "The WIC app also has similar formulas that my daughter would be able to use, and if we do find those, and we can get WIC on the phone, they’ll change it instantly, like as soon as they can, but it’s just an issue of if it’s after the office is closed for the day, or how many calls they have. If you can find it to be shipped from out-of-state, you have to use a credit card, and you can’t utilize WIC."
IsLo has a sensitive stomach and requires a specific type of formula including Enfamil Gentlease and Reguline.
"It’s really irritating and frustrating to have to drive around to stores to run in there and look, and then while my wife’s in there, I’m calling another store or vice versa," said Segura. "Nothing is scarier and makes you feel like less of a person, than a parent that can’t feed their child."
For the last couple of months, Segura’s family has been able to maintain a two-week rolling supply of baby formula, but it has been endless hours of phone calls and visits to stores to keep that up.
"It’s kind of scary because for the next eight months, she’s going to be formula reliant," said Segura.
State health officials said a baby’s doctor, nurse or clinic is the best source of information for a baby’s nutrition.
DOH also has a dedicated resource page for families impacted by the infant formula shortage.
If you participate in WIC, it’s recommended you contact your local WIC clinic for help finding formula, call the State WIC Office at 1-800-841-1410 or check the Washington WIC webpage for information on approved infant formulas.