Ochsner Gynecologist Offers Tips for Moms-to-Be
With hurricane season upon us, pregnant women and families with small children need to take extra precautions to ensure that things go smoothly, whether evacuating or staying. Making preparations now can spare a new mother from unnecessary worry during power outages and storm recovery later. Charles Faucheux, MD – Ochsner OB/GYN offers the following tips for moms.
What expecting moms need to know:
- Plan an alternate birth location in the event of road problems or evacuation.
- Have phone numbers and locations for local obstetricians and midwives in the event you cannot reach your regular provider during evacuation.
- If late in pregnancy, have a copy of your prenatal care record and birth bag if evacuating.
- Hurricanes do not directly cause labor to happen. Labor is expected anytime between 37 and 42 weeks and should be planned for accordingly.
- Create a family communication action plan so everyone is clear of what needs to take place before and during evacuation.
- If you seek help at a shelter, immediately notify them of your pregnancy and get information about the location of hospitals in the area.
- Bring with you any medications, including prenatal vitamins and prescriptions.
- Do all you can to reduce stress – stress is a major factor in preterm labor.
- Learn the signs of preterm labor and contact help immediately if you experience any of the following:
- Contractions every 10 minutes or more
- Leaking vaginal fluid or bleeding
- Feeling that baby is pushing down
- Low, dull backache
- Abdominal cramps
Feeding your baby:
- Create a food hurricane kit either at home or for a car ride out to safer ground.
- Make sure mom has enough clean water to drink and high-protein snacks.
- For babies less than 6 months old, breast milk is the sole source of recommended nutrition. Breastfeeding is always available and sterile.
- Pack a battery operated quality pump or hand pump, clean storage bottles or bags, and a method of freezing or cold storage. Pumped milk will last about eight days refrigerated; previously frozen milk will last about 24 hours in the fridge.
- Pack at least three full days and nights worth of pre-washed bottles, nipples and formula.
Hurricane season is not only stressful for expectant moms but also for anyone with a medical condition. Any patient of Ochsner Health System has an electronic medical record (EMR) which is stored electronically and accessible at any Ochsner hospital or clinic in southeast Louisiana. If you are not an Ochsner patient, check with your medical provider about how your medical records are stored and how to obtain copies in advance of a storm. In the event of a major disaster, this could be life-saving.