GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – What started as an inconvenience, is now a full-blown crisis as families across the nation are scrambling to find baby formula amid a shortage.

Prisma Health pediatrician Dr. Blakley Amati said it’s caused by multiple factors.

“It’s kind of a culmination of the perfect storm. COVID really started things off for us,” Dr, Amati said.

However, what really sent the shortage over the edge, was a massive recall from a manufacturer called Abbott.

“[The recall was] due to some concerns about contamination with bacteria with some of their powdered formulas,” Dr. Amati said.

Megan Sebastian said her toddler is off of formula but says she can sympathize with struggling mothers.

“I would most likely be panicky. I would probably be calling around all the stores and would probably be searching online,” Sebastian said.

Dr. Amati said there are some options to lessen stress, like buying online instead of in the store. Also, calling ahead to find out who has formula in stock.

However, if you’re desperate, temporary fixes can be the way to go.

“While we know that toddler-based formulas are not first line for babies less than 12 months if you can find a toddler face formula and you cannot find regular formula for the short-term use that,” Dr. Amati said.

“They even have recommended that if you are completely without any way to get regular formula and your baby is over six months of age it is OK to give them regular whole cow‘s milk,” said Amati.

Dr. Amati said there are also things you shouldn’t do.

“We do not recommend watering down formula to make it last longer. It’s a very delicate balance of the water and the nutrients and electrolytes,” Amati said. “We do not recommend making homemade formulas for the same reasons we don’t recommend watering down formulas.”

Dr. Amati says right now there’s not really an end in sight.

She says baby formula manufacturers in the us are starting to request formula from other countries, who have FDA standards on formula.