Breastfeeding · Parenting

Breastfeeding your baby in an emergency

Tree branches collapse on road during winter storm

Emergencies often occur when least expected, when we are least prepared and with no time to plan. Every emergency is different and can include a wide range of unsettling events. They can be the result of natural disasters such as a blizzard, floods or earthquake.

Your family could be left without electricity, clean drinking water and transportation. You may not to be able to cook, prepare food or get to the grocery store. Ultimately, it means your normal daily life is disrupted.

Research shows that infants and children are the most vulnerable during emergencies. Your baby may be at risk of getting sick, generally due to diarrheal infections which can be life threatening. Your baby’s immune system is not yet fully developed making it more difficult for your baby to fight infections

Breastfeeding saves lives!

Breast milk is the safest food in an emergency. It is always clean, requires no electricity and is always ready and available. Breast milk contains antibodies that will help prevent infections. Breastfeeding also allows you to provide comfort and warmth to your baby.

Breastfeed your baby when they are hungry.

If your baby is an infant it is important to breastfeed at least 8 times in 24 hours (day and night). If your baby is older than 6 months they can have solid foods and breast milk. Hold your baby skin-to-skin, this will help build your milk supply and keep your baby warm.

If you are separated from your baby, you can express your breast milk by hand. Store your breast milk in a clean glass or hard plastic container (BPA free) with an air tight lid (for example small jars with lids). Your family and friends can feed your baby with a cup.

Expressed breast milk can be kept in a cooler with ice packs, but must be used within 24 hours. If not used within 24 hours, throw it away. Freshly expressed breast milk left at room temperature for more than 6 hours should be thrown out.

Learn how to be emergency ready, as well as what to do during and after an emergency.

One thought on “Breastfeeding your baby in an emergency

  1. This was a very interesting article πŸ€” but loved it πŸ™Œ breast milk is amazing for babies especially since if the baby were to become sick the breast would sense this and create antibodies specifically for the sickness 😷 keep up the great work 😊

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