Breastfeeding in a natural disaster

Living in Miami where we are in the middle of Hurricane Valley, that long point of the United States that sticks out like a sour thumb isn’t always a bad thing. We have beaches, sun and Disney, but what happens when a natural disaster strikes? What happens when everything around you is closed because the streets are flooded, trees are down and you have no clean water or electricity? How do you feed your child which is screaming in your arms because it has no food or the bottles are dirty and water is found unsafe?

Now that I have you thinking about all of the what ifs I am sure you are thinking it won’t happen to you because you will be prepared, right? Well I am sorry to say but how do you know how long you will be without the necessities, so that you can prepare accordingly? There is no way to know. Maybe it won’t be long but then again you have no way to be sure.

You hear that the roads are clear and you are able to drive in your local area, you head to the local store to buy more formula and then guess what, you can’t find any because those big trucks haven’t been able to make it into your area. So what do you do now? I honestly don’t know because you might just go into freak out mode. Maybe you can find someone to nurse you child that would be one of the few things I can think of or cross your fingers and hope they have frozen breast milk they are willing to part with.


If you are a breastfeeding family, I say family because when you breastfeed it is an entire family who benefits, you are aware that a natural disaster can occur at any moment. It isn’t just hurricanes we need to worry about, there are many disasters that take place all over the country. We need to be prepared for all of them at the drop of a moments notice, or no notice at all. We as parents are spend more time worried about the wellbeing of our children than anything else. Formula does have its benefits, I know of some families that had no other option and formula has been a great benefit to their family. I am not saying formula is a bad thing, that is not my point in writing this but breast milk may be that one thing that saves your children from starving.

I have breastfeed all of my children and have been able to enjoy that one on one time with them. I also formula feed my son, Michael, after a few months of breastfeed I returned to work and tried with everything I had in me and available to me to keep up my supply but it didn’t work. I was sad to end my breastfeeding relationship but knew my son needed to eat and I was proud to be able to give him four months of golden milk. Michael was born in July and lucky for us all hurricanes missed us that year and no other natural disasters hit but I always wondered what if they had, how would I manage? I didn’t have any additional milk saved, everything I had was already used during the first weeks since I had returned to work.


My personal opinion and evidence both show that breastfeeding is best, it has several benefits not seen in formula. Having your breast make milk is no accident, we were made like this for a reason, to be able to feed our children. When a natural disaster strikes your breast will continue to do what they were made for, they don’t need to have clean filtered water and so long as you are eating your baby will have enough milk made for them.

Having a baby soon create a baby registry add the items you will want or need which aren’t much and if you do not get everything use that lovely discount the stores give you towards the end of pregnancy. When shopping for breastfeeding supplies go for what will work best for your family, ask other families what worked for them based on that you can buy what you need.


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