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Emergency Planning for Pregnant Women

by Jane Wangersky | November 5th, 2013 | Pregnancy

snow emergeYou may have had an emergency plan for a long time already — depending on where you live and how cautious you are — or you may only have started to think about such things since you’ve been pregnant. Either way, a pregnant woman needs a specialized plan in case of an emergency or disaster, especially now with winter storm season coming. You may have to evacuate or shelter in place sometime during your pregnancy.

If you’ve never made up a family disaster plan before, you can find out how at If you already have one, you’ll need to add a few preparations, and get some extra items for your kit, to accommodate your pregnancy. Here’s what the Center for Disease Control suggests:

Talk to your doctor about where you can get prenatal care, or possibly even give birth, if your hospital isn’t available. Make a plan for getting there.

If you have to evacuate, remember to take along your prenatal vitamins and any meds. Let shelter workers know about your condition.

If you’re told to shelter in place, that can be stressful in its own way. Plan to shelter in a large room with minimal doors and windows and a water supply (like a bedroom with attached bathroom).

Though no one wants an unplanned home birth, you can at least be ready for one. Learn the signs of early labor and take an infant and child life support class. Gather clean towels and sheets, sterile gloves, and other supplies you may need. The American College of Nurse-Midwives has a helpful guide to giving birth “in place”, including a full list of supplies and equipment, here. Of course, they warn readers: “This is not a “do-it-yourself ”guide for a planned home birth, nor is it all the information you need for every emergency.”

One thing you probably won’t have to worry about is having enough milk for your baby. The CDC says this is the best feeding option for babies in a disaster situation: “Even when experiencing diarrhea, food-borne illness, or extreme stress, breastfeeding mothers continue to produce ample milk for their babies.”

If you have to use your emergency plan, you’ll at least feel somewhat ready. If not, that’s even better. Either way, life goes on.

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