Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Preparing For Emergencies With A Newborn


As a mom, it's not fun to think about awful things happening, but it's wise to prepare for the worst.  Consider teaching your newborn to take a bottle at least once in a while in case something unfortunate happens.

A friend of mine had the sudden inspiration to pump a lot of milk soon after her daughter was born.  Weeks later, she found herself in the hospital having an emergency gall bladder removal.  Her baby couldn't be with her and fortunately she had the milk for her family to give her, which ended up being exactly the right amount. 

Weeks ago, I had what I thought was painful acne on one side of my abdomen, side, and back.  I finally went to my doctor a few days later and he confirmed that it was shingles.  I would need to take anti-virals for a week to prevent problems that would last for months or years.  He suggested I not breastfeed during that time.  I was devastated and in pain, having no idea how I would get my daughter to take a bottle.  She took one months ago, but we haven't been able to get her to do it since then.  She won't go to sleep or stay asleep without nursing.  He also suggested I only nurse on the side that wasn't affected because shingles is the chicken pox virus and she could get it.  This was another thing I knew my daughter wouldn't accept without a long night of thrashing around.  If you've had shingles, now imagine a baby kicking you repeatedly and clawing at your skin.  When my doctor said, "It will be OK", I kind of wanted to smack him. 

I was lucky though. I called the pharmacist and asked, "Isn't there something I can take while breastfeeding?"  He said, "Yes, you can take Valtrex."  Upon further research, it wasn't recommended you stop breastfeeding just because you might give your baby chicken pox.  I took my chances and so far, so good.  No chicken pox.

It's upsetting to think that something worse could have happened and that my baby would be traumatized in the event of my sudden absence.  I think of my family and how upset they would be already, but also having to convince our inconsolable baby to eat in a different way.

There are also other events that could happen.  Imagine you're just leaving your baby with family while you run an errand and your car breaks down.  Does your baby have a way to eat at home?

Or Heaven forbid you have another child who is hospitalized and you need to be with them, but your baby isn't allowed to come with you.  There are many different scenarios.

I feel like a dodged a bullet.  She's now eating more solid foods, so I wouldn't have to worry about her starving, but I cringe to think that I wasn't prepared. 

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