(KRON) – “I just fed him. Oh, he’s in a food coma.”
Met 7-week-old Ken. Super hungry, as most babies are, his mom Yuki Kajitani is supplementing breastmilk with formula. Recently the hospital supply ran out, and that’s when they discovered what many are facing these days — buying formula is a gargantuan undertaking.
“My husband went to the store, then 5 stores, and then I went online and it said we can get in a month maybe,” Kajitani said.
Kajitani says in online chats she is also hearing horror stories of hunting for formula for hungry babies.
“I joined the Bay Area mother’s group and they are all talking about going to stores, that no one has it,” Kajitani said. “Then they find some and post where to get it fast.”
Kajitani shared that all of this just adds to the already complicated new role of caring for a dependent infant. For now, she is patching together a plan.
“My mother-in-law found some and she sent, it isn’t the same, but it is fine, but when we run out, I don’t know, maybe hopefully we can find something,” Kajitani said.
Kajitani says she feels bad so many others are dealing with the shortage. the crisis is particularly acute for those receiving federal and state assistance in the women, infant and children or WIC program.
The program only allows for participants to buy certain designated brands, and many of those are vacant from shelves. Governor Newsom and the Director of Public Health Dr. Ghaly say they are monitoring the situation, but there is no quick fix. in the meantime, Kajitani says she is crossing her fingers, she can continue to search and find critical supplies for Ken.
“It is stressful, we already dealing with COVID, we have to protect our babies from COVID and in addition to it, we have to deal with like formula shortage,” she said. “It is way, way too much.”