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Disasters can strike at any point in time, making it important to prepare as best you can for an emergency. This is even more vital when you or someone within your household is pregnant or has a newborn. Pregnancy and newborn care require a little extra planning to ride out a disaster. Learn more about these top items to pack in an emergency when pregnant or with a newborn.
Pack an Emergency Birthing Kit
While having a baby during a disaster is probably not on your birth plan, it is crucial to prepare for the scenario just in case. Pack medical supplies in an emergency birthing kit that will help with birth as well as the after-care needed for both mom and baby. You can also purchase an emergency birthing kit to make it easy. (Here’s a video with more information.)
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This item will help you keep track of the mom’s heartbeat and hear the baby’s movements inside the womb. You can also use a stethoscope to check the baby’s heartbeat once it is born.
Keep track of both mom and baby’s temperature with a thermometer during labor and after birth.
Pack both adult and infant fever reducer medication to help fight infections for both mom and baby.
Handling a mom and newborn will require sterile gloves to help reduce the risk of infection. Throw in a box of medical gloves in your emergency birthing kit to make it easy.
Shower Curtain Liner
Packing a clear shower curtain liner is an easy way to create a clean space for the mom to birth the baby. A shower curtain liner is also waterproof, making for easier clean-up as well.
The baby will need to be kept warm immediately after birth. Make sure to have plenty of clean towels on hand to clean up both mom and baby, as well as use as a blanket afterward.
Shoelaces or Clips
Cutting the umbilical cord is a vital part of separating the baby from the mother. You’ll need to apply constant pressure to two areas of the umbilical cord. Using shoelaces or some sort of tight clip can help stop blood flow.
Sterile scissors are an important part of umbilical cord care. Medical scissors are easy to pack and are sharp enough to cut through the cord.
Once the baby is born, you’ll need to clean the baby’s airways. Use a bulb syringe to suck out the nose and mouth to clear away any blood, mucous, or amniotic fluid.
As a natural disinfectant, rubbing alcohol can be used on the end of the umbilical cord to prevent infection to the baby. You can also use alcohol to clean up the mother and tend to any tears or wounds that she has as well.
Use any kind of sterile cotton with rubbing alcohol to clean up mom and baby. Cotton balls will work, but you can also pack sterile cotton pads that don’t take up too much space.
Trash Bags & Paper Towels
There will be plenty of blood and fluid during birth. Make sure to pack trash bags and paper towels to clean up the area and dispose of the placenta.
Make sure to pack sanitary pads to help care for the mom after birth. These will help her feel more comfortable and clean the week after the baby is born.
It is quite common for mothers to tear during birth. Having a sterile suture kit can help close these wounds and help speed up the healing process.
Pack an After Care Kit
Once the baby has arrived safely, you’ll still need some essential items to keep both mom and baby happy and healthy.
Pack at least a gallon of water for the baby to use for washing or add to the formula.
While you don’t necessarily need soap geared for babies, it can be helpful when wanting to protect their skin from harsh chemicals or additives. Use this soap to clean out bottles, nipples, and fabrics as well.
Pack a large can of powdered formula to use for the baby if the mom isn’t breastfeeding or the baby needs extra calories.
Bottles and Nipples
Choose a few different types of small baby bottles and nipples so that you can try out what works for the baby. Nipples are notorious for breaking, so make sure to pack extras as well.
One package of newborn diapers should be enough to last the baby about a week. Including a package of size 1 diapers is also a good idea, depending on how big the baby could be.
While they aren’t necessary, it is nice to have wet wipes for diaper changes and clean up any messes. Remember that baby wipes do not have sanitizing qualities.
Diaper Rash Cream
Throw in a bottle of diaper rash cream that should last a long time. Protect the baby’s skin and keep them comfortable despite the conditions.
The best thing to back for the baby is footed pajamas. Pack a few different sizes of these pajamas for the baby to wear and keep warm in. If conditions are hot, you can always cut off the legs and sleeves of the pajamas to make a onesie as well. Include a baby hat to help keep the baby warm even if there isn’t much heat.
Babies find comfort with their mouths, and keeping the baby quiet could be a vital part of surviving a disaster. Add a few different kinds of newborn pacifiers into the bag to help keep the baby comfortable.
While you could use a towel if you were in a pinch, packing a few baby blankets can be beneficial in an emergency. Use one to snuggle the baby and others to use as a makeshift burp rag or insulator.
Newborns want to be close to their mother, but you may not have a lot of extra hands during an emergency. Pack a baby sling so that mom can wear the baby without the need to hold it 24/7. This keeps the baby close to mom and keeps her hands free to do other tasks.
Nipple Shield & Cream
Breastfeeding is often a learned skill that can be quite painful for the mother. Packing a nipple shield and nipple cream can be a lifesaver for a new mother in a survival situation.
Manual Breast Pump
Packing a manual breast pump can also help with the mother’s milk production and aid in breastfeeding issues. A single manual breast pump doesn’t take up too much room and can be used to pump milk for the baby’s bottle as well.
The idea of giving birth in an emergency survival scenario is scary, but planning and packing for the situation could help out immensely. Pack both an emergency birthing kit and after-care items for both mom and baby to keep them healthy and comfortable. Remember to include all of these items when preparing for a disaster when pregnant or with a newborn.
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