La Leche League USA. All Rights Reserved
La Leche League USA, 306 Glenn Avenue Lawrenceville, New Jersey 08648
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-analytics||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-functional||11 months||The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-necessary||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-others||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-performance||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".|
Find Local Help ▶
Breastfeeding in an Emergency
Hurricanes. Snow storms. Flooding. Wildfires. Power outages. Families are faced with a slew of potential emergencies that may affect how they feed their babies. Are you wondering how you can keep your breastmilk safe during a potential power outage or if there are benefits to nursing through an emergency? Be sure to include your baby in your emergency preparedness plan. Read on for information on breastfeeding during emergency situations.
Keeping Baby Close
Please keep in mind:
If you are in the process of weaning, it is best to continue nursing until the emergency passes.
Expressing Milk in an Emergency
Feeding Expressed Milk During An Emergency
Leaving Frozen Milk Behind
Do not delay evacuating because of your frozen milk. Ideally, your goal is to prevent your milk from thawing completely. The best things you can do to prepare for potential power outages include:
Note: Advice has circulated claiming to protect frozen breast milk from thawing by placing quart bags filled with smaller bags of milk into larger bags filled with cold water and then freezing them solid. This is not recommended. Field tests have shown that the milk bags inside thaw completely in the cold water before re-freezing.
When you return to your milk, check to see if there are any ice crystals that remain in the bags. If there are any ice crystals at all, it may be refrozen. If there are no longer ice crystals in the milk, current guidelines recommend that this milk be used within 24-48 hours (24 hours if baby is a preemie or has immune issues that require stricter precautions) and not refrozen.
Evacuating with Frozen Milk
Do not delay evacuating because of your frozen milk. Call ahead to your destination or any overnight stops along the way to see if they have freezer space for your milk.
Packing your frozen milk for evacuation:
Dry ice may be used in place of gel packs or regular ice. Dry ice is often hard to find in an emergency situation, however, and does require additional safety precautions when handling. Dry ice also should never come in direct contact with the bags of milk, as it will rip the bags and spill the milk.
Breastfeeding During A Hurricane, LLL USA blog
Traveling with Human Milk, LLL USA
SafelyFed USA– infographics and printable sheets on infant feeding in emergencies
Infant Feeding in Emergencies, LLLI
“Evacuating with Frozen Milk,” Human Milk News
Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies, USBC
“My power went out and I have breastmilk in the freezer. Help!” KellyMom
Hand Expression, Stanford Medical School
Hurricane Preparedness, American Academy of Pediatrics
Disaster Planning: Infant and Child Feeding, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
IS YOUR CONCERN OR QUESTION NOT COVERED HERE?
Please contact a local LLL Leader with your specific questions.
Medical questions and legal questions should be directed to appropriate health care and legal professionals.
Page updated September 2020
Subscribe to Our Blog
La Leche League Meetings