Emergency Preparedness Tips for Pregnant Women and Families with Infants
By Health News Digest, Aug 28, 2008
(HealthNewsDigest.com) – WHITE PLAINS, NY, Aug. 28, 2008 — As the 2008 hurricane season becomes active, the March of Dimes has emergency preparedness tips and suggestions for pregnant women and parents of newborns.
The needs of pregnant women and families with newborns during a disaster are unique. While they still need to follow any evacuation and preparation instructions given by their state, there are also special things to consider.
Before an emergency hits, pregnant women and families with newborns should let their health care provider’s office know where they will be.
Make a list of all prescription medications and prenatal vitamins that are needed.
Get copies of medical records from their health care provider.
Give their case manager a phone number to use to contact them.
If their baby is in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU), parents should check with the hospital to find out its disaster plan and where their baby will be sent in the event of a disaster.
“It is especially important for pregnant women and their families to have a disaster preparedness plan in place that they can execute early to avoid, if possible, being in an extremely stressful or potentially dangerous situation,” said Diane Ashton, MD, MPH, deputy medical director of the March of Dimes. “In the event of an evacuation, pregnant women and families with small infants should be aware of the location of the closest hospitals and medical facilities in the areas to which they will be evacuating.”
More detailed suggestions for pregnant women, including suggestions about steps to take during a disaster and tips for coping in the aftermath can be found at: http://www.marchofdimes.com/pnhec/159_21889.asp
More detailed suggestions for families with newborns can be found at: http://www.marchofdimes.com/pnhec/298_16943.asp
Following the hurricanes of 2005, the March of Dimes mobilized its nationwide network of chapters and volunteers to meet the needs of sick and premature babies and pregnant women.
In 2007, the March of Dimes launched four Mom & Baby Mobile Health Centers, which provided more than 3,000 patient visits to the areas hardest hit by the hurricanes: New Orleans; its suburbs St. Bernard Parish and the Lower 9th Ward; the Lake Charles area; and Biloxi, Mississippi. The program is on target to provide more than 15,000 visits in three years.
The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. Its mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org.