How to Prepare for a Natural-Disaster Emergency: Tips for Pregnant Women from the March of Dimes

Tips for Pregnant Women to Prepare for Emergencies

Hurricane Isaac is the latest storm to hit the U.S., and as numerous states brace for its arrivals, others are already feeling its force.

Since pregnant women become especially vulnerable during natural disasters, it’s important to safeguard as best as possible against unforeseen dilemmas arising from emergencies. The March of Dimes offers helpful tips to expecting mothers on how to best prepare for emergencies.

Of course, it’s important for all families to follow evacuation guidelines and emergency plans, and pregnant women should certainly follow the same basic instructions provided to everyone. But there are a few things pregnant women are advised to do above and beyond the standard protocol to keep themselves and their pregnancies safe.

Here’s what the March of Dimes recommends pregnant women and new parents do in order to prepare for a emergency:

1. Pregnant women should know the signs labor and if they experience any of these symptoms should NOT wait for them to just go away. They should seek immediate medical care. Preterm labor is any labor before 37 weeks gestation. 

2. Pregnant women should pack prenatal vitamins, or perhaps an extra supply of over-the-counter vitamins, along with extra maternity clothes.

3. Fill prescription medications in advance.

4. Have bottled water and non-perishable food supplies on hand. Try to stock food that is high in protein and low in fat.

5. New parents who may need to stay in a shelter should consider bringing a safe place for their baby to sleep, such as a portable crib, as well as extra diapers and other basic medical supplies.

6. New parents also should take special steps to ensure they have food for their infants. The stress of a hurricane may affect lactating women’s milk supply, although breastfeeding can be calming for both mother and baby.

7. In the rare instance it becomes impossible to continue to breastfeed, mothers may consider weaning their baby. If they choose to switch to formula, parents should use pre-prepared formula because there may be concerns about the quality of the water supply. Do not use water treated with iodine or chlorine tablets to prepare powdered formula.

8. Pregnant women should do their best to eat regularly and nutritiously and remain hydrated. They also should do their best to get enough rest.

To everyone in Isaac’s path: Stay safe! Keep us posted on how you and your families weather the storm, and tell us what tips you have for preparing for natural disasters.

SOURCE: March of Dimes

Photo: iStockphoto

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