During a hurricane or other natural disaster, infants are vulnerable. They have specific nutritional needs, and they’re susceptible to infection.
“And so when you’re the parent of a baby and you’re living through a disaster, you worry so much about your baby’s health,” says Malaika Ludman, a program coordinator at the New Orleans-based Birthmark Doula Collective. “You’re constantly worrying about what they will eat and when they will eat and how they will eat. And you also worry that they’ll get sick.”
She says that during a disaster, parents who are breast or chestfeeding a baby may worry they’re not making enough milk because they’re so stressed.
And families who are formula feeding may struggle to find supplies.
“They need clean water,” Ludman says. “They need a way to heat the water. They need a steady supply of formula.”
To help families, the Birthmark Doula Collective offers a program called Infant Ready.
It trains emergency responders on how to support breastfeeding during a crisis and how to manage the distribution of formula donations.
And it distributes emergency feeding kits to families with breastmilk storage bags, disposable ice packs, and other supplies.
So families have the resources they need to safely feed their babies, even during a crisis.
Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media