Breastfeeding During a Disaster and Other Emergencies
In emergencies, breastfeeding is the safest way to feed your baby. Continue to breastfeed to help your baby stay healthy.
Breast milk is the best nutrition for most babies. Breastfeeding helps protect your baby against some illnesses. During emergencies, babies may be more likely to get sick than adults.
Breastfeeding During an Emergency:
Comforts your baby during emergency travel.
Keeps your baby hydrated. If your baby is less than 6 months old, they do not need to drink water or any other liquids, even in hot weather.
Helps protect your baby from germs that can cause colds, ear infections, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Provides a reliable and consistent source of nutrition.
If your baby is breastfeeding well, you do NOT need to also give infant formula. Here are reasons why:
- Formula can make babies feel full and stop breastfeeding.
- Powdered formula can increase your baby’s exposure to harmful germs.
- Water might not be safe to mix with powdered formula and clean bottles and nipples.
- Your breast milk supply can go down if you feed your baby formula and breastfeed less often.
If you think you have less breast milk than normal, breastfeed more often to increase your breast milk supply.
If you are worried that your baby is not getting enough breast milk or is not breastfeeding well, talk to a health care provider right away.
To learn more about the basics of breastfeeding, visit CDC’s Infant and Toddler Nutrition website.