Infant Formula Crisis Resources

We are currently facing an infant formula crisis. There is a severe shortage of formula, and children are going hungry. ALL babies deserve to be safely and adequately fed. As the United States grapes with this crisis, we know that Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities facing marginalization may be particularly affected by this crisis. 

HealthConnect One is an advocate for chest/breastfeeding and actively supports promoting First Food Equity through peer-to-peer support. However, we cannot ignore that there are families with social, economic, and physical barriers that prevent them from exclusively breastfeeding/chestfeeding their babies.

We recognize the deep racial disparities in advancing breastfeeding intention, initiation, and duration. We recognize the importance of access to peer-to-lactation support that can help parents who may be interested in relactation or accessing milk banks. Ultimately, we realize that what parents need right now is information on how to get their baby fed safely, without SHAME.  

We hope to provide information to families who need to feed their babies during this formula crisis.

Shareable Graphics and Toolkits

Breastfeeding USA graphic Tips for the Formula Shortage 

Factsheets & Advisories

White House FACT SHEET: President Biden Announces Additional Steps to Address Infant Formula Shortage

Health and Human Services Fact Sheet: Helping Families Find Formula During the Infant Formula Shortage 

FDA Advisory to Not Make or Feed Homemade Infant Formula to Infants

Questions & Answers for Consumers Concerning Infant Formula

Abbott Recall Notice: U.S./Puerto Rico

Resources

→ United Way’s 2-1-1 dial 2–1-1 to be connected to a community resource specialist affiliated with United Way who may be able to help you identify food pantries and other charitable sources of local infant formula and baby food.

→ Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA): certain HMBANA-accredited milk banks distribute donated breast milk to mothers in need; please note that some may require a prescription from a medical professional. Find an HMBANA-accredited milk bank

HealthChildren.Org: With the baby formula shortage, what should I do if I can’t find any?

Take Action

→ Donate cans of liquid formula to places like pediatricians’ offices, Head Start Centers, and Churches so that these items can get directly in the hands of folk who need it most.

Sign a Petition to President Biden to Take Action to Address the Formula Emergency 

Preserving Black Futures; Resisting White Supremacy

The HealthConnect One team mourns the loss of Black grandmas, uncles, dads, sisters, and moms, at the hands of White supremacy in Buffalo on Sunday. 

In a country where growing theories and hate target the joy of Black birth, our team remains focused and strengthened to continue our work. The preservation and survival of Black life, joy, families, and communities, is the core of our work. 

As we continue to work towards ensuring Black people can give birth safely and future generations of Black communities can thrive, we hope our legislators take action to address domestic terrorism and our allies and have deep conversations about the threat of White supremacy. 

Today, say the names of the people who were murdered. Hold their memories as we dream, hope, and organize for a reformed country, and remember Black folks in Buffalo who have lost another supermarket now creating a food desert. 

SAY THEIR NAMES

Aaron Salter, 55; Ruth Whitfield, 86; Katherine “Kat” Massey, 72; Pearly Young, 77; Heyward Patterson, 67; Celestine Chaney, 65; Roberta Drury, 32; Margus D. Morrison, 52; Andre Mackneil, 53; Geraldine Talley, 62.

You can support local organizations in Buffalo by providing food relief for Black folks during this time: @feedbuffalo @buffalocommunityfridge @feedmorewny.

For Black colleagues, partners, and networks, please visit beam.community for mental health resources as we process this horrific event.

As we battle with and strategize against White supremacy, please use this Self-Check In Tool from BEAM.
How Am I? A Self Check-in

Mental – What are my thoughts right now? How are they impacting me? What fear of how folks will perceive me is getting in the way of asking for the help I need?

Physical – Am I hungry? Am I tired? Am I in pain? What am I feeling in my body and where? What is/are the message(s) my body is sending me about my needs?

Emotional – What am I feeling? What helps me to feel resourced and grounded before taking on something that requires more of me?

Feature: Supporting Black Breastfeeding In Wichita

For many Black birthing families across the country, breastfeeding intention and initiation continue to pose a challenge. From the presence of infant formula in maternity wards to the failure of healthcare providers to encourage Black Breastfeeding to the lack of community support for Black Breastfeeding, the breastfeeding inequity gap continues to widen. At HealthConnect One, our First Food Equity project tackles this issue head-on, by strengthening resources and support within Black communities that will increase available breastfeeding support by diverse, community-based peer-to-peer providers.

HealthConnect One identified over 20 organizations to support community-led projects from identified Black, Brown, Indigenous, and People of Color leaders WBBC, based in Wichita, Kansas. As a part of the First Food Equity project, WBBC’s objective is to motivate Black and Brown women in Wichita to begin contemplating breastfeeding initiation in the antenatal period. During Black Maternal Health Week, we spoke with Joyea Marshall-Crowley, the coalition coordinator for WBBC, to understand the coalitons work and its vision for Black maternal health.

What’s the origin story of WBBC? 

Wichita Black Breastfeeding Coalition was started in October 2020 under the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition non-profit organization. The creation of this coalition serves the purpose of giving black and brown mothers a safe place to get resources and support when it comes to breastfeeding. 

What issues are facing the Black communities WBBC serves in Kansas? 

The current issue in Wichita is representation and normalization. Black and brown women are not being asked about breastfeeding and their healthcare providers assume they are going to formula-feed compared to their racial counterparts. They are not offered the same resource and information during pregnancy and delivery about breastfeeding and there is a lack of black and brown IBCLCs in Kansas and currently none in Wichita. 

Share a success story within your program. 

Our program, “Latched Legacy” set out to normalize those black women who do indeed breastfeed. The campaign video highlights mothers with their families while displaying confidence to share that they breastfed, and their children are their legacy from that. The video was so powerful and touching that it has been a part of breastfeeding 101 classes, shared during black breastfeeding week, breastfeeding conferences, etc. 

We have been able to not only highlight normalization but also provide breastfeeding kits that include supplies and information to pregnant women to encourage them to initiate breastfeeding as their first choice upon delivery. We have successfully been able to 97% of the women who received kits initiate breastfeeding upon delivery. 

What is WBBC’s vision for Black Maternal Health? 

When this coalition started, there were no credentials in lactation within the group. We had nurses, chiropractors, and women who are passionate about breastfeeding and want other women to have a successful journey. As of today, we have two certified breastfeeding specialists (CBS) working towards their IBCLC, three doula-trained workers, three Chocolate Milk Café trained facilitators, and two in the works of getting their midwifery license. 

Our vision is to become the resource and information where Black women can seek help from the coalition, people who look like them and do not have to be outsourced because of “credentials”. 

How is your participation in the FFE community projects cohort helping you realize this vision? 

Our Latched Legacy Project is allowing us to build that foundation with the community and be consistent with providing information and supplies for free with the grant funding. We realize that this project has the possibility to be bigger than just Wichita, once we improve on our Latched Legacy Project and get a good system going, we want to start implementing the program in hospitals, local practices, WIC offices, etc.

To learn more about Wichita Black Breastfeeding Coalition, visit their website.

Announcing the first Community Doula Week!

We are thrilled to share that HealthConnect One is partnering with BirthMatters to host the first-ever Community Doula Week! 

Community Doula Week is a weeklong campaign to highlight the unique and life-saving support community doulas offer birthing people and their families. This campaign was dreamed up by Eboni Williams, a BirthMatters community-based doula serving her community in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

This year #CDW2022 will:

→ Acknowledge the importance of community doulas through public awareness 
→ Affirm the critical support community doulas offer amidst a maternal health crisis.
→ Advocate for fair and sustainable pay for community doulas through community building

Community Doula Week will take place from March 29th – April 5th. This week will involve several activities and events inited to acknowledge the work of community doulas. 

Click here for more details!

A Doula Story – Virtual Viewing

Join us for a virtual viewing of “A Doula Story” on Wednesday, March 30th at 12:00 PM EST

Click here to join the virtual viewing!

A Doula Story documents one woman’s fierce commitment to empower pregnant teenagers with the skills and knowledge they need to become confident nurturing mothers. A woman of remarkable magnetism and complexity, Loretha Weisinger returns to the same disadvantaged neighborhood, where she once struggled as a teen mom. She uses compassion and humor to teach the young mothers-to-be about everything from the importance of breast-feeding and reading to their babies to the practical details of communicating effectively with health care professionals.

Community Doula Week Dialogue

To close out the first-ever Community Doula Week, HealthConnect One and BirthMatters are hosting a panel discussion and open dialogue titled “A Community Doula Conversation.

During this discussion, panelists will map out the history of community-based doulas, discuss the present challenges and strides to advance and sustain the profession, and highlight the steps necessary to forge a way forward.

HealthConnect One Annual Report 2021

We’re proud to release our 2021 Annual Report, Planting Seeds for Future Generations.

“We are like a community garden; we support birth workers to empower birthing people and co-create with other organizations. We ensure that the garden for Black, Brown and Indigenous communities is thriving in a healthy and safe environment for future generations.”

This year’s theme, Planting Seeds for Future Generations, has allowed us to take a moment to reflect on the seeds we have planted across the nation. For 35 years, HealthConnect One has trained community leaders, ensured that birth workers’ voices are lifted and heard, and created a national network of birth equity leaders.

This year we’ve been able to plant the following seeds:

  • Trained community-based doulas to foster thriving and sustainable communities
  • Served as a funding intermediary for community-led work through resource mobilization and community convening 
  • Remained a resource for parents and families during the pandemic through virtual training and meetings
  • Built relationships with other organizations & cultivated new skills by co-creating with our networks
  • Advocated & Fought for Fair Pay for Birth Workers with birth equity leaders across the country 

Learn more about how we impacted birthing families in 2021, download and share our annual report here.

On Behalf of Birthing Families


We are proud to join Families USA, Community Catalyst, The National Partnership on Women & Families, and Protect Our Care and over 200 national, state, and community organizations in thanking the House of Representatives for the momentous gains made in the Build Back Better Act, reinforcing the need to keep the package intact as it makes its way through the Senate, and urging swift passage onto President Biden’s desk.

We urge our partners and advocates to ask Congress to go BOLD and pass the Build Back Better package and demand change for birthing families across America.

Read the letter here.

Visit our take action center to ask your senators to pass the #BuildBackBetter Act!

#GivingTuesday2021

Mark your calendars for #GivingTuesday2021!

As we look forward to the future, babies, birthing people, and their families need our support now more than ever!

HealthConnect One is participating in #GivingTuesday2021 on November 30, 2021. GivingTuesday is a Global Day of Generosity that strives to build a world in which the power of generosity is at the heart of the society we make together, unlocking dignity, opportunity, and equity. We hope you mark this day on your calendar and use your generosity to help improve birth outcomes for Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities.

Our goal is to raise $30,000 this year for Giving Tuesday. These funds will propel our work forward and make it possible for us to create an equitable future for Black, Brown, and Indigenous babies and birthing families.

Your gift during #GivingTuesday funds crucial advocacy, training, technical assistance, research, and support for birth workers across the country on the front lines of the fight to achieve birth equity.

Build Back Better Passes the House!

Earlier this month, the Biden Administration made history by signing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act! The Bill, which will provide historic investment in our transportation, broadband, and infrastructure, is set to accelerate our economic recovery. While this is fantastic news, it’s time for Congress to rise to the occasion again and prove that they can still pass legislation that will make a real difference across this country. Working and middle-class families in America will benefit from the Build Back Better Act’s social policies that will make health care more affordable.

The Build Back Better Act, a historic legislation just passed the House of Representatives earlier today. This Bill will radically improve the lives of millions of Americans once it becomes law. The Bill includes landmark investments that will improve maternal and child health and advance equity, including critical provisions that:

→ Ensure new mothers have access to comprehensive health care services during the postpartum period by making 12-month postpartum coverage mandatory in Medicaid and CHIP.
→ Make historic investments to end the maternal health crisis by incorporating and providing funding for critical provisions of the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act.
→ Address churn and prevent eligible children from becoming disenrolled from coverage by requiring 12-month continuous eligibility for children insured by Medicaid and CHIP.
→ Provide a new option that allows states to extend income eligibility for CHIP up to 300% FPL.
→ Create a new Maternal Health Home state option in Medicaid to improve care coordination for pregnant and postpartum mothers.
→ Make the CHIP program permanent.
→ Extend critical poverty reduction efforts by providing a one-year extension of the expanded Child Tax Credit and making it permanent.

We’re looking to Senate to go BOLD, pass this bill, and move it to the President’s desk. We urge advocates to call the U.S Senator Switchboard (202) 224-3121 and ask your Senators to say ‘YES’ to Build Back Better Act.

Visit our Take Action center for a detailed script for when you call your Senator!

For questions, please contact HealthConnect One’s Director of Advocacy, Zainab ‘Zee’ Sulaiman.

Undoing Racism to Improve Birth Outcomes in Rochester

Last week, HealthConnect One joined Finger Lakes Performing Provider System, Finger Lakes Community Health, and the Healthy Baby Network launched the Rochester Doula Hub. This timely collaboration will provide culturally reflective community-based doula support to improve Black birth outcomes in Rochester.

Health inequities have long been tied to racism, poverty, physical environment, and stress, all outcomes linked to racism. Recently published data links racism, specifically redlining practices, to higher preterm births in Rochester, NY. These policies, which were in effect until the 1960s, resulted in decades of community disinvestment and high poverty in inner-city neighborhoods while denying Rochester residents the ability to build intergenerational wealth through homeownership.

Researchers identified preterm births (less than 37 weeks) by zip code, demographic characteristics of individuals, including race, and community survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau on income, poverty, and educational attainment. 

Nearly 13% of preterm births occurred in zip-codes labeled “hazardous” compared to 7.55% in areas marked “best” or “still desirable.” Birthing people who resided in “hazardous” areas also had a higher risk for other maternal complications, such as pregnancy-related hypertension, neonatal complications, and neonatal intensive care unit admission.

HealthConnect One’s partnership to co-develop the Black Doula Collaborative comes off the heals of our community-based doula model’s astounding results for nearly three decades. The culturally reflective, community-rooted support provided by doulas trained through our model will improve birth outcomes in Rochester, especially for Black babies and birthing people experiencing racism and adverse effects. 

This week, HealthConnect One team members will engage with doulas from Rochester utilizing HealthConnect One’s proven “train the trainer” model. The program, which will be based at Healthy Baby Network and Finger Lakes Community Health, will hire, onboard, and train doulas, including 16 community-based training sessions. FLPPS will fund six full-time equivalent doulas, which will serve 250 Black and Brown women. The program will develop referral pathways with healthcare systems and federally qualified health centers to facilitate care.

Download the full one-pager here. For questions, please reach out to info@healthconnectone.org

Two black female friends with stroller, walking and chatting.

Take Action for Birthing Families

Congress will soon decide on a social infrastructure legislative package that could be transformative for birthing families, including critical Momnibus investments and establishing the first national paid family & medical leave insurance program!

Black Maternal Health

The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021 builds on existing maternal health legislation, like policies to extend postpartum Medicaid coverage, with 12 bills to comprehensively address every dimension of America’s maternal health crisis. 

Last month, crucial investments in Black maternal health from the Momnibus were included in the Build Back Better Act. HealthConnect One is thrilled to see maternal health equity prioritized in this package, however there is still work to do until these provisions, in their entirety, are passed.

As outlined in a report from the Century Foundation, these four investments from the Black Maternal Health Momnibus, out of many, will improve Black Maternal health should lawmakers pass the Build Back Better Act.

  • Build Back Better could save mothers’ lives by providing funding for postpartum Medicaid to a total of 1,170,000 uninsured new mothers over ten years
  • 92,000 nurses and perinatal nursing students would receive funding for loans, scholarships, and programmatic support over ten years.
  • 30,000 doulas would receive funding for loans, scholarships, and programmatic support over ten years.
  • 46,000 maternal mental health and substance abuse professionals would receive loans, scholarships, and programmatic support, over ten years.

It is imperative that congress prioritizes these maternal health investments that mothers, babies, and birthing families desperately need. 

Call your legislators to pass the Build Back Better Act with these investments! – Click Here

Call your Congressmembers’ offices! Congressional staffers are required to tally phone calls right away. You can leave their office a voicemail if no one answer’s the call.

Follow these steps:

  • Call the U.S. House of Representatives Switchboard: (202)-225-3121 or the (202) 224-3091 (TTY). Ask to be connected to your Senators or Representative.
  • You can find your Senators’ contact forms at senate.gov and your Representative’s contact form at house.gov/representatives.
  • You can find your Members’ phone numbers, Twitter handles, Facebook pages, and other contact information on Contacting Congress.

When you call, use this script:

Hi, my name is (NAME), and I’m from (CITY, STATE).

I am calling to urge you to vote to pass the Build Back Better Act. This legislation includes historic investments in maternal health by including ALL provisions from the Black Maternal Health #Momnibus and mandated permanent extension of postpartum Medicaid coverage to 12 months.These investments will address system-level failures by providing policy solutions that will allow Black birthing people and their babies to thrive.

This issue is of particular importance to me because (briefly describe why this is important to you).

Thank you for your time and for your leadership in supporting working families across America. I hope I can count on you to prioritize the health of mothers, birthing people and their babes.

(Your name)

* [IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL OR EMAILING: please leave your full street address and zip code. This will ensure your call or email is tallied]

Tweet at your legislators and tell them the importance of these investment! – Click Here

  • It’s time for congress to pass ALL #Momnibus provisions in the #BuildBackBetter act. These investments will address system-level failures by providing policy solutions that will allow Black birthing people and their babies to thrive.
  • Community-based organizations like @HealthConnctOne and its partners are at the frontlines of the maternal health crisis by ensuring birthing families have the culturally-reflective support they need to have a positive birth experience. (1/2)
    The #Momnibus enables these organizations to directly serve the multifaceted needs of pregnant and postpartum people in their community. (2/2) 
  • Racial justice requires investments in maternal health. To rectify centuries of disenfranchisement, we need to continue demanding justice for moms and ensure that ALL of the #Momnibus provisions are prioritized in the Build Back Better legislative package. 
  • The evidence is clear — doula care is associated with positive outcomes for birthing families. Funding from the #BuildBackBetter act would provide increased access to doula services for Black families, for whom doula care is often out of reach.
  • The #Momnibus provisions in the #BuildBackBetter package will ensure that Black birthing people can experience joyful pregnancy and birth.
  • Black birthing people need the Biden adminsitration and leaders in congress to go bold and pass the #BuildBackBetter Act with ALL investments from the #Momnibus and the permanent extension of postpartum Medicaid coverage to 12 months.

Follow @HealthConnectOne on Twitter and be sure to tag us in your posts!

We won’t stop working until all provisions are passed. It’s time to build on this momentum and continue working to eliminate maternal health disparities by passing the Build Back Better Act with all maternal health provisions included.

Paid Family Leave

In one of the most industrialized nations in the world, only 15 percent of all working people in the have access to paid leave through their employers. The Build Back Better Act social infrastructure package could change that. 

Sick family members, a new baby or child placement, an aging parent, are planned and sometimes sudden occurrences for everyday people across America. Working families deserve to know they do not have to sacrifice financial income or job security.  The United States is the only industrialized nation that doesn’t guarantee paid leave of any kind. It’s time for our legislators to create a safety net that will allow working people to remain active parts of their families and the economy at the same time. 

Our leaders are negotiating the details and they need to hear your voice about what families need.

The paid leave plan in the Build Back Better package will:

  • Ensure the benefit is available to all of America’s families;
  • Provide paid time off (ideally 12 weeks);
  • Provide robust wage replacement; and
  • Cover the whole range of babies’ and families’ needs for time off.

Become an advocate and keep the pressure on our leaders to make sure the new paid leave program provision in the Build Back Better Act would reach all babies and families! call on Congress to finally pass paid leave for all working families. 

Take Action Today – Click Here

Contact Congress via a phone call or email and ask them to support the bill and it’s full recommendations.
(via Think Babies)

Use the script below:

  • Hello, my name is (xxx) and I am your constituent living in (state your city/town).
  • I’m calling today to urge your support the Build Back Better Act which will establishes a paid family and medical leave program that will meet the needs of working families across America
  • This paid family and medical leave program will give families the opportunity to stay connected with their family and remain in the work economy. Paid leave gives families the time they need to bond with and care for their infants and care for loved ones without sacrificing their financial security. 
  • This issue is of particular importance to me because (briefly describe why this is important to you).
  • Thank you for your time and for your leadership in supporting working families across America. 

It’s important that our elected officials hear from you about the life-saving relief that a comprehensive paid leave program can have on maternal and child health outcomes and overall well being of families.  

Our country cannot afford to wait to address the challenges facing Black and Brown birthing people, and failing to invest in these issues risks not only incurring painful economic and social costs, but lives across America.