For everyone in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia who are bracing for the hit of Hurricane Florence this coming weekend, you may be concerned about infant feeding during this emergency situation. Here are some tips:
Keep young infants skin-to-skin to encourage direct breastfeeding whenever they need & to encourage your milk supply
If you pump your milk, be prepared with a hand pump and/or hand expression to encourage your milk supply if you lose electricity & have some coolers with ice ready to store freshly expressed milk
If you are formula feeding, be sure to buy some ready-to-feed formula in the event that you lose access to clean water for formula preparation.
Have the phone number of an IBCLC, CLC, or peer support person in the event that you are having difficulty feeding during the emergency.
Image Credit: Safely Fed USA
The United States Breastfeeding Committee also recommends the following:
Mothers can breastfeed in an emergency!
The safest food in an emergency is the mother’s own milk. Donor human milk is the next best option. Mothers who cannot directly feed their babies can also be supported to express their milk.
Women who are stressed can continue to make milk. A quiet area that helps mothers relax can help their milk flow to the baby.
Malnourished mothers can make plenty of milk.
Even mothers who have already discontinued breastfeeding may be able to restart breastfeeding (known as “relactation”).
If a baby (or mother) becomes ill, the best thing the mother can do is to continue breastfeeding to provide her baby with human antibodies that fight the illness.
Support makes the difference!
You can view the recommendations made by the American Academy of Pediatrics here.