Breastfeeding During Emergencies

From the United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) Position Statement on Infant/Young Child Feeding in Emergencies:  

  • The safest food in an emergency is the mother’s own milk. Donor human milk is the next best option. Mothers who cannot directly feed their babies can also be supported to express their milk.
  • Women who are stressed can continue to make milk. A quiet area that helps mothers relax can help their milk flow to the baby.
  • Malnourished mothers can make plenty of milk.
  • Even mothers who have already discontinued breastfeeding may be able to restart breastfeeding (known as “relactation”).
  • If a baby (or mother) becomes ill, the best thing the mother can do is to continue breastfeeding to provide her baby with human antibodies that fight the illness.
  • Support makes the difference!

For more from the USBC's Position Statement on Infant/Young Child Feeding in Emergencies, please visit the USBC website.