When disaster strikes, infants and young children are at high risk for malnutrition, infection, and death. Infants that receive human milk during a disaster receive protection from infection, receive adequate nutrition when other foods are not available, and are more likely to survive. Breastfeeding also enhances the parent-child bond, an important protective factor in times of trauma.
Current disaster infant feeding care is not working. Despite the increasing frequency and intensity of disasters, we still lack the basic tools and training to ensure safe infant feeding in disasters. Emergency responders know little about breastfeeding. And emergency kits lack the supplies needed to safely feed a young child.
That’s why we are launching the Infant Ready. Thought up at the 2018 MIT “Make the Breast Pump Not Suck” Hackathon, Infant Ready (formerly known as Lac-Pac) is a toolkit that provides families and their supporters what they need to safely feed in a disaster. The toolkit and accompanying training program for emergency response systems will save lives with:
• A low-literacy, visually diverse, educational booklet of life-saving skills like hand expression of breastmilk, safe storage and handling of breastmilk, and water safety
• Disaster infant feeding supplies, designed to be lightweight, portable, and last for 48 hours of disaster mobilization
• Infant feeding supplies, such as a nursing cover, feeding cup, flange bag, cooler and cool packs, sanitizers, SOS water, and lighted kit bag.
• Our emergency infant feeding training brings basic infant feeding and lactation training by our partner lactation consultants to the emergency response arms who need it.
We need your support to launch Infant Ready. Our 3 Partner Sites around the country aim to distribute training and kits for 10,000 families this year. Contact us to become a Distribution Partner, Funding Partner, or Supply Sponsor today.