WSJ US BusinessBaby-Formula Shortage Worsened by Drop in Breast-Feeding Rates

May 29, 20220
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One of the contributing factors in the U.S. baby-formula shortage is a significant shift in the way parents feed their babies: Breast-feeding declined during the pandemic, reversing a decadeslong trend, health practitioners say.

Since 2020, the share of breast-fed one-year-olds has plummeted from an estimated 34% to an estimated 14% this year, according to surveys conducted by Demographic Intelligence, a forecasting firm that specializes in births and works with formula manufacturers including Abbott Laboratories and Nestlé SA. Because of the small sample size, the firm’s 2022 estimate has a range of error of plus or minus 6 percentage points.

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