By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As the baby formula shortage continues and shelves remain empty, parents are turning to potentially dangerous solutions. Now, the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued emergency guidance.

Baby Formula Shortage Resources Guide

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The formula shortage is especially challenging for low-income families and those with babies on restricted diets. Social media has become a valued resource for many. Doctors say that although the information might be helpful, some of the solutions are dangerous.

Delco Formula Finders is a Facebook group sharing information and pictures with updates on baby formula supplies.

“We’re actually at a crisis situation,” said Dr. Alanna Levine, a spokesperson with the American Academy of Pediatrics. “Parents need to find an FDA-approved formula that is appropriate for their child. I think we really have to balance adequate nutrition with safety right now.”

Relief is coming, however, as the FDA has OK’d the leading supplier to restart production, but it could take up to two months for that formula to hit store shelves.

“I don’t have the formula that I need,” said Heather Nicholas, mother of a 5-month-old, said, “so your mind doesn’t stop thinking about it, especially at night. I hate to say, I’ve lost a lot of sleep.”

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After hitting dead ends trying to find formula, Nicholas is among a group of moms turning to each other for help on social media.

Instead of formula, this group is sharing breast milk. Kaleigh Ayers has pumped extra that’s in a freezer.

“Putting myself into the shoes of those mothers is really what motivated me,’ Ayers, a mom to a 5-month-old, said. “I can’t imagine how scary that would be.”

The moms meet in person for the milk delivery.

Facebook is full of parents sharing breast milk. But the American Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t recommend this kind of unregulated sharing. Its spokesperson said, “the quality and safety of the milk cannot be assured.”

“You’re not going through the process of getting that breast milk screened for infectious diseases or getting screened for things like drugs,” Dr. Edith Bracho-Sanchez, a pediatrician, said. “You also don’t know how old that breast milk is. You don’t know what the process has been to keep it refrigerated.”

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Doctors are also advising parents not to make their own formula or dilute what they have, because it may not provide enough nutrition.

Stephanie Stahl