Breastfeeding in Emergencies
In emergency situations, the safety net that breastfeeding provides is important. Research shows that infants are at higher risk for having diarrhea and other illnesses in an emergency. Babies who are breastfed receive a safe, reliable food source that protects them from these diseases. Supporting breastfeeding in non-emergency settings will strengthen the abilities of mothers and caregivers to cope in an emergency.
The Cleanest, Safest Food for Babies is Breastmilk
- In an emergency there may be no clean drinking water or infant formula, refrigeration, or a way to clean bottles and nipples.
- Breastmilk is readily available and always at the right temperature.
- Breastmilk is the perfect form of nutrition.
- Breastmilk protects against infection and helps keep baby warm.
- Breastfeeding helps calm crying babies and helps lower stress in the mother.
In an Emergency, Breastfeeding Saves Lives
Breastfeeding and Emergency Preparedness Links
Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine
American Academy of Pediatrics
Center for Disease Control – H1N1 Influenza A and Breastfeeding
Emergency Nutrition Network
International Lactation Consultant Association
UNICEF Website on Emergencies and Nutrition
United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC)
World Health Organization (WHO)
For Questions or Comments, email Nancy Bacon or Rosanne Smith.