Bread. Check. Milk. Check. Toilet paper. Check. Dry ice. Dry ice?
If you’re a breastfeeding mom, especially one who depends on electric pumps and stored breast milk in refrigerators or freezers, there are some things to keep in mind as you prepare for Hurricane Irene.
Gina Ciagne, senior director of Breastfeeding Relations at Lansinoh Laboratories, has created a checklist to help breastfeeding moms prepare for the extreme weather. She says you should make sure to do the following:
- Keep a cooler of dry ice on hand in case your electricity goes out and you have frozen milk stored in your freezer. Alternatively you can get regular ice ahead of time and put it in a cooler.
- Keep extra batteries on hand not just for your flashlights but also your breast 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.
Also, if you’re formula feeding and run out of formula or can’t get access to clean water, Ciagne says it’s possible to relactate. About formula feeding moms who may need to breastfeed in an emergency, she explains, “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 [the] supply will return.” Good to know!!
For Ciagne’s full list of ways to prepare for Hurricane Irene, visit Lansinoh’s On Cloud Mom blog.
Learn more about the essentials in Babble’s Breastfeeding Guide!