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Dr Virginia Thorley, OAM, PhD, IBCLC, FILCA

International Board Certified Lactation Consultant


Your baby in wild weather

Posted on November 30, 2017 at 5:11 PM
Today's forecast for wild weather and heavy rain in Victoria, Australia, makes this an opportune time for a post on this topic. First, in regards to overall safety, the ABC Local Radio station in your area is the emergency radio network for updated information. So, in case of electric power outages, it is important to have spare batteries for your portable radio or to recharge your other hand-held device. (If the power goes off, you can recharge your phone from your car battery via the appropriate jack.)
This is a time to get to know your neighbours, if you don't already. Neighbourly cooperation can be an asset in emergencies. During a recent cyclone in Central Queensland, when  the power went off, neighbours in one affected street with meat that was likely to go off without refrigeration shared it with others in a street barbecue, each bringing whatever food they could, to share.  This was reported on ABC Local Radio as a solution for some neighbourhoods, an idea that is worth sharing. 
Breastfeeding: This isn't the time to wean, as continuing breastfeeding provides first-class nutrition and protection against infection for your baby - as well as needing no special equipment, no safe water supply, no sterilising. no mixing.  It is there, as long as you and your baby stay together. All that your exclusively breastfed baby needs is the breast.  If your baby is older and is receiving other food, too, in an emergency you can still boost your milk supply by breastfeeding more frequently, if your child is willing (the opposite of weaning).  More milk taken and more stimulation = more milk. Even if you only want to do this for a short time during the emergency, this is worth knowing.  Remember, too, breastmilk provides a significant amount of important nutrients at any age, including prebotics. (See my earlier posts on this blog and the contact details for the Australian Breastfeeding Association on the LINKS page.)
If you are not breastfeeding your little one, the time to prepare is now. That means safe water for reconstituting the formula powder, enough to be boiled and stored ready for use for the next few feeds. Plus equipment for hygeinic preparation of equipment.  More detail can be obtained from your local Child Health Nurse.
All Mums, however they are feeding, need to remember to look after themselves, for instance, remembering to drink enough fluid, especially on very hot days. (See my other posts about mothers and fluid needs.)
All the best for the expected bad weather.  Being prepared can help you "weather" the  storms better. 

Categories: Emergency situations - another year

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Reply Replica Watches
3:46 AM on April 6, 2018 
All the best for the expected bad weather. Being prepared can help you "weather" the storms better.
Reply Virginia
8:42 AM on September 14, 2018 
Replica Watches says...
All the best for the expected bad weather. Being prepared can help you "weather" the storms better.

Now it is the typhoon or hurricane season in different parts of the world. The news of extremely severe weather in Japan and the Philippines is very sad, with so many people affected, and now there are evacuations of coastal areas in the south-east United States.

If you live in a disaster area and are currently breastfeeding a baby, it is important to keep breastfeeding to give your baby the protection your milk provides. If you are worried about your milk supply, remember that taking out milk more frequently helps make more milk. The more your baby takes out, the more milk your body will make. If you have to leave your home, do make sure you have the contact details of the local breastfeeding support counsellors, which may be La Leche League Leaders or a local organisation in your region. The mother-to-mother support they can give you on your mobile phone (cell phone) can help give you confidence, help relieve some of the stress, and you can ask for practical ideas.

If you have to evacuate and are worried about privacy, talking with another mother on a helpline may be just what you need to help you find ways to be safe and secure while you get on with putting your baby to the breast. For instance, having other women with you may provide more safety and reassurance.

I send everyone in the storm areas my best wishes for being safe during the emergency, and I hope your family stays safe also.
Reply Virginia
12:31 AM on November 3, 2018 
Now the stormy season has arrived in Queensland, with some severe storms, including one or more tornados in October. If you live in Australia, please remember that ABC Local Radio is set up as part of a national network for disasters and weather events, and in the affected areas the station stays on air to provide the latest information and support - including talkback from others affected.

Last year I heard on ABC Local Radio a very sensible solution from callers to the radio station who were without power. A listener with a lot of meat that was at risk of deteriorating organised a barbecue to use up the meat by sharing it among neighbours and others affected, who contributed what they could. The talkback facilitated sharing - just one example.

In preparation for the stormy season or the bushfire season it is important to have spare batteries for a portable radio in order to maintain this contact. Why not put spare batteries on your shopping list now?