Dr Virginia Thorley, OAM, PhD, IBCLC, FILCA - International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
www.virginiathorley.com

Your baby in wild weather

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. 

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