Preparing for Emergencies

As we prepare for what may be a devastating week (and more) ahead of us, I think it is vital to reiterate the importance of emergency preparedness in the perinatal industry.  I'm going to keep this short and simple, so research further as needed.

Basics

  1. Stock up on non-perishables early - don't wait for an emergency to happen.
  2. Believe that stores may not get necessities when you need them.
  3. Do not rely on government assistance - natural disasters wreak havoc on our societies.  You have the responsibility to care for your family, not assume someone else will take care of you.  The more self-reliant people are, the easier the government can help those who are really in need (and the better our economy is during non-emergency times).
  4. Do you have a source of clean drinking water?
  5. What do you know about edible (and poisonous) wild plants?
  6. Do you have a plan in the event of evacuation?  Does your family know this plan?

If Pregnant

  1. Relax & eat well while you have the option
  2. You CAN birth your baby outside a hospital without a care provider present
  3. Stay calm & follow your instincts - remember to just breathe
  4. Its better to do nothing than try to intervene with the mom - in most births, she will do beautifully birthing unassisted
  5. Read Gregory White's Emergency Childbirth (other than some odd position suggestions for normal birth, this is an excellent short read for everyone - even if you're not expecting)
  6. The placenta can be used to stop a postpartum hemorrhage by swallowing a small piece
  7. Don't worry about clamping the umbilical cord, it will clamp on its own

If Lactating (or once lactating - or adoptive nursing - or someone else needs help lactating)

  1. Put baby to the breast as often as possible (no pacifiers)
  2. Skin to skin Wide open, Chin first, Pause & Swallow
  3. Relactation (or nursing an adopted baby) is possible by putting baby to the breast often. High fiber foods help increase milk supply (i.e. dark greens, fruits, and grains).
  4. If you are nursing, and you happen to have formula samples around - save it for the non-breastfed in the family (including yourself) and keep nursing your baby
  5. Breastmilk can be expressed for someone who is sick (or to help prevent sickness in the non-breastfed).

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