MCH Emergency Preparedness

Woman holding her babyIn case you are pregnant or have an infant less than a year old, the following additional supplies are recommended.

Pregnancy & Feeding Emergency Guide

During Pregnancy

  • Clean Towels
  • Copy of your prenatal record and medications
  • Disposable gloves
  • Medium sized bowl (for placenta)
  • Phone numbers and locations of other obstetricians, midvives, and birth locations
  • Waterproof pads for bed or car

For Newborn Baby

  • Bowl for collecting expressed milk
  • Case of diapers
  • Large blanket for both
  • Long cloth or towel to keep mom and baby together
  • Newborn hat or adult sock to place on the newborn's head to prevent heat loss
  • Receiving blankets
  • Suction bulb
  • Syringes or small cup for feeding expressed milk or formula

After Birth for Mother

  • Antibacterial Wipes
  • Cold Packs
  • Disposable Gloves
  • Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen
  • Sanitary Pads

Cutting the Umbilical Cord

  • Boiled shoelaces or string to use as a cord clamp
  • Sharp, clean scissors or single-sided razor blade (found at hardware store)

After Baby is Born

Mother and infant should always remain together, baby skin to skin (baby wearing only a diaper and a hat), to stabilize and regulate infant, reduce calorie needs, calm mother and baby, and allow baby to lead the breastfeeding.

Use a long piece of fabric as a baby sling carrier to assure keeping baby warm and safe, and parents calm. Other options to wrap the mom and baby together include: sweat pants, t-shirt, or towel.

Fundal Massage

Mothers should massage at, above, and below their belly button directly after delivery. This requires a deep penetrating circular motion to help stimulate the fundus (top of the uterus) to contract (fundal massage). This should be done every 15 minutes for the first hour after birth, then every half an hour during the following hour, and hourly for the next few days. The mother should also keep track of how many pads they are using a day. The purpose of the fundal massage is to prevent hemorrhaging (bleeding out) after delivery.

Breastfeeding Supplies

  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Baby wipes
  • Case of diapers
  • Comfort items (i.e. blanket, pacifier, stuffed animal, pajamas, toys etc.)
  • Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water each day and eat several times a day. Try to choose foods high in protein and low in fat.
  • If the child is over 6 months old, non-perishable baby food or table food, spoon
  • Sealable plastic bag (for soiled items)


  • Baby may get fussy related to delayed let down, use breast massage and deep breathing to help milk flow
  • Feed on demand (at least 8 to 12 times in a 24 hour period)
  • Help baby latch on by reclining mom and triggering baby's feeding reflexes
  • If needed hand express and cup feed infant
  • Keep baby skin to skin
  • Mother should try to conserve energy and stay well rested
  • Mothers should be given food and drink when available, but even without adequate food she CAN provide enough milk for her baby.

Increasing Mother's Milk Production or Relactation

  • Avoid pacifiers, cup feed to supplement
  • Have short periods between feeding attempts (1 to 2 hours)
  • Keep baby skin to skin and offer breast as a comfort measure

Benefits of Breastfeeding

Human milk protects baby from diseases and prevents exposure to unclean food and water. Breast milk is a Meal Ready to Eat (MRE). Women can and do breastfeed under stress, although baby may get impatient and fussy. Women can relactate (make milk again) especially if the baby is under four months old. During an emergency, even a baby over 6 months old can survive on only breast milk or small amounts of solid food.

Online Guide

Read the online Pregnancy and Feeding Emergency Guide (PDF).