March of Dimes Emergency preparedness
, West Virginia, January 17, 2014
Here are some March of Dimes emergency preparedness tips for pregnant women and new parents. Or you can visit march of dimes.com or cdc.gov for more information:
Pregnant women should know the signs labor and if they experience any of these symptoms should NOT wait for them to just go away. They should seek immediate medical care. Preterm labor is any labor before 37 weeks gestation. The signs of labor are:
- Contractions (the abdomen tightens like a fist) every 10 minutes or more often
- Change in vaginal discharge (leaking fluid or bleeding from the vagina)
- Pelvic pressure—the feeling that the baby is pushing down
- Low, dull backache
- Cramps that feel like a period
- Abdominal cramps with or without diarrhea
Pregnant women should pack prenatal vitamins, or perhaps an extra supply of over-the-counter vitamins, along with extra maternity clothes.
Fill prescription medications in advance.
Have bottled water and non-perishable food supplies on hand. Try to stock food that is high in protein and low in fat.
Few parents who may need to stay in a shelter should consider bringing a safe place for their baby to sleep, such as a portable crib, as well as extra diapers and other basic medical supplies.
New parents also should take special steps to ensure they have food for their infants. The stress of a hurricane may affect lactating women’s milk supply, although breastfeeding can be calming for both mother and baby.
In the rare instance it becomes impossible to continue to breastfeed, mothers may consider weaning their baby. If they choose to switch to formula, parents should use pre-prepared formula because there may be concerns about the quality of the water supply. Do not use water treated with iodine or chlorine tablets to prepare powdered formula.
Pregnant women should do their best to eat regularly and nutritiously and remain hydrated. They also should do their best to get enough rest.
More Websites that you may want to visit:
To learn more about the quality of your drinking water, contact your local health department or environmental agency. Or call the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at the Environmental Protection Agency, (800) 426-4791.
This section of our web site might also be helpful – environmental risks and pregnancy.