Whether you are (fast) approaching your estimated date of delivery, have a newborn, or just have little kids, the possibility of Hurricane Florence hitting Raleigh in the next few days is a bit scary! Losing power, flooding, heavy winds are all likely and cause some trouble whether you are trying to birth a baby, or feed a baby.
Here are a few of our favorite tips brought to you by our birth doulas and postpartum doulas!
Giving Birth During a Storm
If you are close to having a baby, we suggested preparing now versus Thursday or Friday. Low pressure systems that are associated with hurricanes can cause women to go into labor. Our birth doulas are on standby for our clients, but we do suggest you think about your route to the hospital!
Stay At Hotel: If you feel like you may be going into labor in the next few days, book a hotel close to the hospital! Worst case, you and you partner have a staycation before adding to your family. Best case, you can easily walk to the hospital if labor does start during the hurricane!
Plan Your Route: With the growth in the Triangle, roads flood pretty easily. Planning your route that is not through flood prone areas can be a huge relief!
Call 911: If you decide to stay home, and do go into labor during the storm, don’t feel you have to drive! EMS are experts in driving, and will get to you during the storm! Driving may make things worse, so keep yourself and your baby safe and let the experts drive you to the hospital.
Feeding A Newborn With No Power
So often new parents rely on so many different things to help feeding a newborn easier, and they are usually lifesavers!
However, when you do not have power, it can feel daunting to not be able to rely on these systems that you have carefully created over the last few weeks. A few of our favorite suggests for feeding a new baby when you don’t have power:
Pump In The Car: Most breast pumps can run off your car battery by just buying a car adaptor. While it may not be the most comfortable place to pump, pumping in your car when you don’t have power can be a great option!
Store Used Bottles in the Fridge or Freezer: Obviously with no power, your fridge is going to get warmer. However, you can store bottles and pumping parts in your fridge or freezer to eliminate the need to sanitize everything after every feeding.
Hand Pump: We love recommending using hand pumps because they are so easy and don’t require power. While you may have to work a little more to get enough milk, what else will you be doing? You won’t be watching TV or using WiFi, that’s for sure (sorry for the reminder!).
Fill Your Tub: We are sure you have read this before, but filling your tub is a great idea when you think you may be losing power or water. That extra water can be used for bathroom visits, drinking water, and (most importantly for new parents) cleaning bottles and pumping parts!
Keeping Your Breastmilk Frozen During a Power Outage
This is a serious fear for many breastfeeding parents!
The high winds that we are expected to receive coupled with up to a foot of rain can lead to downed trees and power lines, and thus no power. The freezer stash of breastmilk is a prized possession, and you worked hard for the stash!
Now, Frances has the opportunity to crash that party. Well, we aren’t letting her.
Ice Crystals: If there are still ice crystals in your milk, it is fine. This means it is still frozen and you do not need to do anything about it. That also means if it is still slushy, it is still frozen!
Keep the Freezer Closed: Keeping the cold air in the freezer will help make the milk stay cool as long as possible.
Dry Ice: If your freezer is no longer keeping your frozen milk frozen, a cooler with dry ice or even adding dry ice directly to the freezer may be a great alternative to keep that stash frozen as long as possible.
Surviving a Power Outage With Kids
We love our children, but sometimes they are a bit challenging! Prepare now so you are able to enjoy your kids without power to entertain them (and you!)
Find an Alternative for Coffee: Grind your coffee now, make some cold brew, or prepare a stove top espresso machine. Whatever you do, make a plan for how you can enjoy your coffee without power!
Snacks, Snacks and More Snacks: We know the way to get any toddler to suddenly become the happiest kid ever is to bride with delicious snacks. During a power outage, that is no different. Prepare yourself with some great snacks to keep you toddler from not tearing the house down.
Activities: Many parents, myself include, rely on leaving the house at least once a day for sanity. Well, during a storm that is harder. Make sure you have some inside activities ready. Be it board games, puzzles, arts and crafts supplies, books, or drawing on the dog, having an idea of what to do now will make it easier when you are in the thick of it!
Solar Lights: If you are out of power, and your toddler is use to having a night light, they may get pretty scared in complete darkness. Solar lanterns are a great way to keep the some light in their room, while also having fun colors!