Feeding Your Baby in an Emergency
Emergencies or disasters are unpredictable events where you and your family may be without electricity, clean drinking water, and transportation. You may not be able to cook, prepare food, or access grocery stores. These events could be the result of severe weather, disease outbreak, man-made disaster or other causes. During an emergency you may be moved from your home to a temporary location, such as an evacuation/reception centre.
During an emergency babies are at high risk of becoming ill due to infections. This is because their immune systems are not fully developed. When babies are ill they can become dehydrated quickly.
If you are breastfeeding, continue to breastfeed frequently at least eight times in 24 hours (day and night). An older baby (six months or older) can have solid foods and breast milk.
If you are separated from your baby in an emergency:
- Express breast milk by hand and store in a clean glass or hard plastic (BPA free container) with an air-tight lid.
- Expressed breast milk left at room temperature for more than six hours should be thrown out.
- Expressed breast milk can be kept in a cooler with ice packs, but must be used within 24 hours.
If you have made an informed decision to use infant formula it is safest to use ready-to-feed formula. Be prepared. Have at least a three-day supply of ready-to-feed infant formula on hand.