Monday, September 28, 2009

Breastfeeding and Disasters

Eventhough my son is not an infant anymore, part of my relief during the trying weekeend was the fact that he is a breastfed baby. When he slipped in the floodwater and I was scared that he drank some and would get sick soon, part of me consoled myself with the fact that offering my breast will give him some sort of protection because of the antibodies and probiotics in it.

And whenever I hear on the news a plea for help because people with an infant were trapped on a roof somewhere, I pray silently... "Please God, let the baby be breastfed."

And now, there are 300,000 displaced, people who may not have a home to return to anymore to receive their holiday cards in. How many of these are babies? How many of them are breastfed? What if they are given formula without clean bottles and sterile water? Would the poor know how to properly make one? Would a scared refugee follow the specifications in the can if she's not sure where and when to get the next one? And when you're stuck somewhere and didn't breastfeed, you've just ensured that your baby will suffer possibly dire consequences.

I worry.

Maybe it's not yet too late to call some radio station later to voice this out.

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Studies show that in disaster situations non-breastfed infants can be 50 times more likely to need hospital treatment than breastfed infants, and they are much more likely to die. Breastfeeding a vital disaster response: Are you ready?


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The Importance of Breastfeeding During Natural Disasters

Breastfeeding saves lives in emergencies

Breastfeeding and Calamities

Breastfeeding: A Vital Emergency REsponse

Breastfeeding and Emergency Situations

Breastfeeding: A crucial priority for child survival in emergencies

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