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.
- Stock up on non-perishables early - don't wait for an emergency to happen.
- Believe that stores may not get necessities when you need them.
- 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).
- Do you have a source of clean drinking water?
- What do you know about edible (and poisonous) wild plants?
- Do you have a plan in the event of evacuation? Does your family know this plan?
- Relax & eat well while you have the option
- You CAN birth your baby outside a hospital without a care provider present
- Stay calm & follow your instincts - remember to just breathe
- Its better to do nothing than try to intervene with the mom - in most births, she will do beautifully birthing unassisted
- 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)
- The placenta can be used to stop a postpartum hemorrhage by swallowing a small piece
- 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)
- Put baby to the breast as often as possible (no pacifiers)
- Skin to skin Wide open, Chin first, Pause & Swallow
- 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).
- 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
- Breastmilk can be expressed for someone who is sick (or to help prevent sickness in the non-breastfed).