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Whole milk OK 'in a pinch' amid baby formula shortage, pediatrians say

The American Academy of Pediatrics announced that cow's milk can be an option, but doctors warned that the practice should not become routine.

The national shortage of baby formula is prompting health experts to update some guidance on alternatives.

The American Academy of Pediatrics announced this week that cow's milk can be an option if parents are struggling to find formula, but doctors warned that the practice should not become routine.

"However, it is a better option than diluting formula or making homemade formula," wrote Dr. Steven Abrams, a professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Texas at Austin’s Dell Medical School. "Although we don't have a specific amount of cow milk that infants 6-12 months should drink in this situation, follow the limits of no more than 24 ounces a day for children over a year of age."

Abrams listed a number of questions and answers on the American Academy of Pediatrics website, including goat's milk and plant-based milk, which isn't recommended for babies under one year or those with certain medical conditions.

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"Soy milk may be an option to give babies who are close to a year of age for a few days in an emergency, but always buy the kind that is fortified with protein and calcium," Abrams wrote. "Make sure to change back to formula as soon as some is available."

RELATED: Baby formula maker Abbott reaches deal to restart production at factory tied to shortage

To help ease the shortage, the Food and Drug Administration said it was streamlining its review process to make it easier for foreign manufacturers to begin shipping more formula into the U.S. as work continued to reopen a shuttered manufacturing plant.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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