Dr Virginia Thorley, OAM, PhD, IBCLC, FILCA - International Board Certified Lactation Consultant

Heatwaves and emergencies

Emergency information:
This message was prepared for people in Australia in areas of the southern states suffering serious bushfires, but it applies in other emergencies. Please be aware that ABC Local Radio is your emergency channel with regular updates specific to your location.  If you are a health professional, you will want to remind the families you work with about this.
Hot weather:
While other adults and children need extra fluid in the heat, breastfeeding mothers need to remember to drink plenty of water, too. A good guide in hot weather is to drink enough to keep urine clear (not dark).
For mothers:  A healthy breastfed baby, given unrestricted access to the breast, will obtain enough fluid to avoid dehydration, but make sure your baby doesn't become overheated, especially if a newborn. Unless you have air-conditioning, that means:
- undressing your baby to just a nappy (diaper),
- sponging her/him with cool water as often as necessary
- your baby's biggest feeds may be in the early morning and evening, with short, frequent feeds through the heat of the day to quench thirst
- if you  baby is too listless to feed or you are concerned about her/his condition, seek medical attention
It's worth repeating that
- the coolest spots in the home are away from windows and external walls, such as in an internal passageway
- pools and beaches are a no-no in the daytime, because there is reflected heat as well as direct heat. This can be overheat a baby, as well as damage delicate skins
- glare means heat.  So keep the curtains drawn to block the glare

4 Comments to Heatwaves and emergencies:

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Virginia Thorley on Friday, 14 November 2014 6:13 PM
Summer has arrived with a vengeance here in Queensland. If you have a baby and live in a very hot climate, please read my earlier post in this topic and look at another, similar topic. I was trying to add a new thread in this topic, but after several attempts I had to give up. This dashboard for this blog is very unfriendly to publishing new topics. I have tried many times to post other new topics, too, because I want to continue a dialogue with readers. So I'm adding my comments to existing topics.
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Virginia Thorley on Wednesday, 10 December 2014 8:23 PM
I hope readers of this blog who live in Australia have been safe in the recent extreme weather, such as the damaging thunderstorms and bushfires. Please stay safe. You can check ABC Radio National in your area - or your smartphone - for weather updates, and take special care if you are travelling wiht a baby.

Virginia Thorley on Sunday, 18 January 2015 9:53 AM
Welcome to 2015! In many parts of Australia and other places in the Southern Hemisphere the extreme heat is continuing. Please read my comments about keeping your baby safe in the heat and, if necessary, sponge him down with water. You may have to sponge your baby several times through the day. If you are travelling, or even going out to shop or do errands, please remember - NEVER leave your baby in a hot car, not even for few minutes. Even a short delay before returning can raise the temperature in a car to dangerous levels, and babies have died from being left in a car for a short time. It's always best to take your precious baby out of the car and take him with you. That way he is safe.

ali on Friday, 19 June 2015 5:59 AM
nice It's always best to take your precious baby out of the car and take him with.
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