Health Department

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our administration office at 10777 Main Street in Fairfax is open during regular business hours 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday. Clinic services are not offered at this location. COVID-19 call center hours are Monday–Friday, 9am–5pm.

703-246-2411
TTY 711

10777 Main Street
Fairfax, VA 22030

Gloria Addo-Ayensu, M.D., M.P.H.,
Director of Health

Infant Nutrition

On this page

Infant Formula
Breastfeeding
Additional Resources

Good nutrition during the first 2 years of life is vital for healthy growth and development. Starting good nutrition practices early can help children develop healthy dietary patterns.

Infant Formula Updates

A cradled baby drinks from a bottle.Learn more about infant formula, the recent shortage, and find product recalls.

Formula Shortage

We are continuing to navigate through the issues related to the nationwide infant formula shortage. If you have any questions, check with your baby’s physician or healthcare provider, especially if your baby is on a restricted diet or has any medical conditions. Learn more:

Tips for Navigating the Shortage

Here are some tips if your formula is hard to find:

  • Call a store to check on the stock or check the online inventory before going to purchase formula.
  • Check smaller markets and drug stores when the big box stores and supermarkets are out.
  • Call your OBGYN or pediatrician to see if they have in-office samples or can suggest a formula that is nutritionally similar to your infant’s typical formula that may be available in stores.
  • Try a different formula if your baby is not on a restricted diet and has no major health problems. If you are a WIC participant, you may be able to find another type of formula. See the Updated Formula Substitution Form.
  • If you choose to shop online, purchase only from well-recognized distributors and pharmacies rather than individually sold or auction sites. You may not know what you’re actually getting, and there is little or no control over pricing.
  • You can also consider buying formula that's made outside of the United States in U.S. stores. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has allowed these formula companies to market certain products in the U.S. Find Resources for Parents and Caregivers on Imported Infant Formula from the FDA.
  • Purchase only a 10-14-day supply each time. It appears unlikely that the supply is going to run out, and hoarding will only make shortages worse.

If your baby is 6 to 12 months of age and has no health or dietary problems, you may feed your baby cow’s milk for short periods until you can obtain proper formula. This recommendation is for urgent situations only and should not be done for a prolonged period. Do not feed your baby any plant-based milks as they lack many key nutrients.

If you are still pregnant but will deliver soon, please give extra consideration to breastfeeding.  Most women can breastfeed, and you are likely to avoid the formula shortage altogether.  For more information, see below.

Manufacturer Contact Information

You may wish to contact one of the Manufacturer Hotlines for more information:

  • Gerber’s MyGerber Baby Expert: reach a certified nutrition or lactation consultant by phone, text, Facebook Messenger, web chat, or video call, who can help you identify a similar formula that may be more readily available.
  • Abbott’s Consumer Hotline: call 1-800-986-8540.
  • Abbott’s urgent product request line: ask your OBGYN or your infant’s pediatrician to submit an urgent product request.
  • Reckitt’s Customer Service line: call 1-800 BABY-123 (222-9123).

If your child needs a special formula, please contact their health provider for recommendations for comparable formula to use. If you are still unable to find a specialty formula, contact the manufacturer:

Formula Recalls

Find information about formula recalls:

Formula Recalls - Updated October 2022

Update: October 2022

Abbott is initiating a proactive, voluntary recall of certain lots of 2 fl oz/59 ml bottles of ready-to-feed liquid products. These products are being recalled because a small percentage of bottles in the recalled lots have bottle caps that may not have sealed completely, which could result in spoilage. If spoiled product is consumed, gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting could result. 

In the U.S., certain lots of Similac 360 Total Care, Similac 360 Total Care Sensitive, Similac Special Care 24, Similac Pro-Total Comfort, Similac NeoSure, Pedialyte Electrolyte Solution. Additional products were distributed to other countries as well. 

WIC clients may be affected by the Similac Special care 24 and NeoSure recall. Call your WIC office with questions.

Please check your lot number and see additional details. 

Update: August 10, 2022

Lyons Magnus has expanded the voluntary recall to include the following products:

  • Pediatric Peptide 1.0 Vanilla
  • Standard 1.0 Vanilla
  • Standard 1.4 Plain
  • Peptide 1.5 Plain
  • Pediatric Standard 1.2 Vanilla
  • Pediatric Peptide 1.5 Vanilla

The recall is due to potential microbial contamination including from the organisms Cronobacter sakazakii and Clostridium botulinum. If you/your child is experiencing any related symptoms or illness please immediately contact your medical provider.

The impacted products are within a select number of lots.  

Earlier 2022 Recalls

There is a recall of potentially affected  infant formula products, including Similac, Alimentum and EleCare powdered formulas. Do not to use Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare or one lot of Similac PM 60/40 powdered infant formulas if: 

  • the first two digits of the code are 22-37; and 
  • the code on the container contains K8, SH, or Z2; and 
  • the expiration date is 4-1-2022 (APR 2022) or later.
  • Or if the Similac PM 60/40 is Lot # 27032K80 (can) / Lot # 27032K800 (case).

To see if your powdered formula is part of the recall, visit this website or call Abbott Customer Service at 1-800-986-8540.

If your infant formula is affected by the recall, do not use it! If you are a WIC participant, find more information on the WIC page about the steps you can take.

For more information, see FDA Investigation page.

Formula Safety

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, here are some steps you can take to ensure the safety of your infant’s formula:

Breastfeeding

A mother breastfeeds her baby.Breast milk is a great source of nutrition for your baby. It can also reduce the risk for certain health conditions for both infants and mothers.

Find information from the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health

Following recommended storage and preparation techniques can maintain the safety and quality of expressed breast milk for the baby’s health. Learn more about Proper Storage and Preparation of Breast Milk.

Find information and support

If you are interested in starting to breastfeed and/or increasing your breastmilk production, speak with a breastfeeding expert. Your health care provider can provide a referral or you can search for a lactation consultant from the United States Lactation Consultant Association or the International Lactation Consultant Association.  

The CDC and La Leche League offers support for those who are breastfeeding as well as those who want to re-lactate.

Additional support and information is available in Virginia from:

Coordinated Services Planning connects Fairfax County residents to county- and community-based services and resources that promote self-sufficiency and enhance well-being. 

Call 703-222-0880, TTY 711
Monday - Friday, 8AM - 4:30PM

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