Iowa mother battles baby formula shortage by donating 45 gallons of breast milk

Iowa mother's breast milk donation brought her total to 45 gallons

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An Iowa mom sprung to action when she noticed other mothers struggling to feed their babies, donating 45 gallons of breast milk amid a nationwide baby formula shortage.

"There are parents that are very stressed out trying to find formula to feed their babies and for moms who aren’t able to breastfeed," said the mother, Andrea Heidenreich, according to a report in Fox Carolina. "It’s a struggle of wondering where that’s going to come from."

The baby formula shortage has led to empty shelves across the country.

The baby formula shortage has led to empty shelves across the country. (Fox News Digital)

While many mothers across the nation are having a hard time finding baby formula, Iowans have been particularly hard hit. The state's formula out-of-stock rate sits above 50%, which ranks in the six worst in the country.

The crisis led Heidenreich to offer help in the form of breast milk donations the Mother’s Milk Bank of Iowa, with her most recent donation on Saturday bringing her total donations to 45 gallons.

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"Sometimes women can overproduce breastmilk, and I was one of those overproducers," Heidenreich said. "We just decided we could help other parents and babies along the way."

Store shelves are empty after a baby formula shortage. 

Store shelves are empty after a baby formula shortage.  (Fox News Digital)

Mothers across the country can understand the plight of Iowans, with the national baby formula out-of-stock rate checking in at 43% last week

A combination of pandemic restrictions, supply chain issues, and a massive recall have contributed to the shortage of the formula.

Abbott Nutrition, the company that was forced to halt production after an FDA recall in February, said Monday that they have reached a deal with the FDA to reopen their Michigan plant.

"Our number one priority is getting infants and families the high-quality formulas they need, and this is a major step toward re-opening our Sturgis facility so we can ease the nationwide formula shortage," Abbott CEO Robert B. Ford said in a statement.

Shelves typically stocked with baby formula sit mostly empty at a store in San Antonio.

Shelves typically stocked with baby formula sit mostly empty at a store in San Antonio. ((AP Photo/Eric Gay))

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In the meantime, mothers like Heidenreich are doing their best to fill in the gaps. According Mother’s Milk Bank of Iowa, donations to the organization have increased amid the shortage.

"We’re experiencing an increase in milk donors who mention the formula shortage and their desire to help," a spokesperson for the organization said. "They are remarkable and generous women."