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State leaders speak out on formula shortage at UConn Healthcare

Topics like breastfeeding support were also discussed at a roundtable event with state leaders and doctors at UConn Health.

FARMINGTON, Conn. — The baby formula shortage is still a huge topic of discussion.

There was a round table discussion held at UConn health center with state leaders and doctors about the issue.

RELATED: Mothers speak out about formula crisis at Roundtable

Moms who feed their babies formula are struggling. Moms who also breastfeed are also struggling 

“People work. People have other kids. People have other responsibilities. Breastfeeding is not free. You need equipment a lot of times. You need a location consulate, we don’t get enough healthcare in general for this,” said Rachel Ursin. 

Topics like breastfeeding support were discussed at a roundtable event with state leaders and doctors at UConn Health. 

“One thing we heard loud and clear today is that for moms that are breastfeeding. The costs of the pumps and the parts are sometimes prohibitive, especially if you’re living paycheck to paycheck. Insurance will pay for a little but not enough,” said Senator Chris Murphy.

The point of this discussion was for Sen. Murphy and Representative Jahana Hayes to hear from those on the front of the supply crisis. 

“That means a supply chain that is stronger that is less susceptible to these interruptions and that means support for our mothers and families that allow them to be able to constant, reliable, uninterrupted nutrition to their children,” said Sen. Murphy. 

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One way to help solve this issue is the Access to Baby Formula Act which was introduced by Rep. Hayes and helps improve access to infant formula for WIC families. It was signed into law by President Biden. 

“Most of our families, more than 50% of babies access milk through the WIC program. There was no alternative because even if another brand of formula was available they could not buy the formula with their WIC benefits,” said Rep. Hayes.

RELATED: New laws could allow WIC families more baby formula options

A law that many have said is beneficial. 

“That’s huge. That is a huge change for moms to be able to go outside of that contract and purchase whatever formula they can find in the store,” said UConn Healthcare Lactation Consulate, Marisa Merlo. 

DeAndria Turner is a multi-media journalist at FOX61 News. She can be reached at dturner@fox61.com. 

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