FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Parents of young children throughout the country are struggling to find formula in stores. Big box stores are limiting the amount of formula customers can buy causing panic amongst families.

“I never dreamed we’d have anything like this, it’s no fun for anybody,” Duane Hougendobler, pediatrician with Parkview Health says. He believes this started with the recall of baby formula.

“The amount of product that had to be recalled created huge gaps in the market, no one was geared up for that,” Hougendobler says. Breastfeeding is the best option right now for children.

“I would ask that people take what they need for a week or two and not hoard. I feel like that’s part of the problem,” Hougendobler explains. Pediatricians have a limited supply to give out because suppliers are focusing on getting formula on the store shelves.

“Health care providers sometimes get information from the reps about ways they can get formula. I don’t want someone on a special formula to use whatever is out there. They’re not all the same,” Hougendobler says.

The Milk Bank has seen a 40% growth in the last two years for the basic need of donor milk. Throughout the last few months, even more families with healthy infants are seeking The Milk Bank for help.

“We’ve heard from a lot of providers about how to fill a short term need,” Freedom Kolb, the executive director of the Milk Bank says.

80% of milk goes to help babies in hospitals but 20% goes to outpatient and healthy infant population. The Milk Bank offers free lactation support to families helping moms to increase supply.

In order to donate milk to the Milk Bank, a five question survey has to be filled out online which begins the process. A map shows area depots including Parkview Regional Medical Center and Dupont Resource Center. Up to 40 oz. can be picked up without a prescription.

milk express site helps families get milk same day.  Dupont Hospital offers this resource and asks that families leave a voicemail to schedule a pick up time.  Families are encouraged to visit www.themilkbank.org to request milk and contact The Milk Bank with any questions.

The Milk Bank also direct ships overnight, so if families do not have a convenient location near them they can still receive support.

“Costs should not be a barrier to infant health. If families look at resources and are concerned, reach out,” Kolb says.

“We’ll get through this, I’ve heard anywhere from the end of may to the fall for it to be resolved. I think sometime this summer makes the most sense,” Hougendobler says.