Pregnancy During a DisasterWomen’s Disaster Topics

During a natural or man-made disaster, women can face some unique challenges. In this blog series we will discuss some important topics and provide links to additional resources.

Topic: Pregnancy During a Disaster

Disasters are certainly stressful enough on their own. But what if you’re pregnant during a time of disaster, with no way to know how long you might be displaced or unable to receive emergency care?

You probably have a “go bag” for the hospital when you go into labor. Be sure to also make a bag in the event you have to evacuate your home due to a disaster of some sort during your pregnancy. Emergency food and water, medications including your prenatal vitamins, birthing supplies, basic baby care items such as food and a portable crib, emergency phone numbers, and more.

https://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit

If you are close to full term and there is sufficient warning about the pending disaster, talk to your doctor. Should you evacuate to a hospital while travel is still possible, just in case?

Be sure to have a communication plan with your family in the event you are separated – how will you contact each other? Where will you meet?

Know how to respond to different types of emergencies – know your community’s alert system and where to shelter depending on the type of disaster.

If you have evacuated to a shelter facility, be sure to tell the staff you’re pregnant and whether you’re experiencing any difficulties. Pay special attention to announcements about any chemical spills or air quality issues resulting from the disaster.

As soon as possible, visit a doctor (even if it’s not your regular doctor) for a checkup.

Here are some resources to learn more and help you prepare:

Preparedness for Expectant and New Parents: https://www.cdc.gov/features/disaster-planning-parents/index.html

Signs of Labor: Signs of Labor - March of Dimes

Medications and chemical exposure during pregnancy: https://mothertobaby.org/

Helping your newborn sleep safely: Parents prevention - cdc.govBuild A Kit - ready.gov