Monday, August 29, 2011

Preparing for Emergencies: What breastfeeding moms should know

Posted by Gina Ciagne from OnCloudMom
If you've looked at a newspaper or turned on the TV you know a hurricane headed up the East Coast.

We can't rarely be sure how dangerous or destructive any storm will be, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared for the worst-case scenario: extended power outages, unexpected time away from home, or being stuck at home unable to leave.

Many breastfeeding moms rely on electric pumps, refrigerators, and freezers. If that sounds like you, review the checklist below and be sure you're prepared for Hurricane Irene.
  • Keep a cooler of dry ice on hand just in case your electricity goes out and you have frozen milk stored in your freezer.
  • If you can't get dry ice, fill up your ice trays or have two bags of ice in a cooler. Keep it near an air conditioning vent or unit while the power is still on to keep the ice cold.
  • If your electricity goes out, do not open the door, which will let the cool air out. If you have to open the door do it as quickly as you can.
  • Remember even in non-emergency situations to keep your frozen milk in the back of the freezer (not in the freezer door). It stays frozen and colder in the back around other frozen items. Partially thawed milk cannot be refrozen.
  • Have extra batteries on hand in case your electricity goes out and you need to use your pump.
  • Familiarize yourself with hand expression in case you don't have batteries and need to pump. Remember that the baby is the best way to remove your milk, so even if you are predominantly a pumper and breastfeed sporadically in an emergency situation, you should focus on feeding the baby on demand. You can also use a manual pump.
  • If you need to be away from your baby and a disaster is imminent, be sure to leave extra expressed milk with their caretaker. If you are caught in traffic or can't get to your baby immediately the baby can still be fed with your milk. Always leave more milk than you think your baby will need (two extra feedings worth, at least). Keep your pump with you to ensure that your body is not getting the signal to make less milk.
  • If a mom is not breastfeeding and she finds herself with no formula or access to clean water, it is possible for a mom to relactate. Her milk was there in the beginning when she gave birth, and she will have to initiate by attempting and/or feeding every two to three hours to trigger the milk to let down. It will not be immediate, but your supply will return.
Stay safe and dry! And be sure to share this list with your breastfeeding friends.

Article from: Lansinoh: Breastfeeding, Preparing for Hurricane Irene: What breastfeeding moms should know, August 25, 2011.
Updated to reflect current events by cls

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