Check out preparedness tips for moms and families with infants, co-released by APHA’s Get Ready campaign and March of Dimes California. Photo by iStockPhoto

Are you a parent of an infant or expecting a child? If so, it’s important you take time to prepare yourself and your infant to be safe during emergencies and disasters.

Today APHA’s Get Ready campaign teamed with the March of Dimes California Chapter to release preparedness tips for moms and families with infants, including free fact sheets, a preparedness podcast, “Baby on Board” e-card and a Q&A with Miriam Erdosi, associate director of program services with the March of Dimes California Chapter.

Here are a few words from Erdosi. Read the full interview on APHA’s Get Ready page.

Q: What special risks are there for pregnant women, or families with infants? 

The biggest risk for pregnant women during a disaster is the risk of delivery during and/or after a disaster strikes. Preterm labor is labor that begins before 37 weeks of pregnancy, and the signs and symptoms of preterm labor include:

  • contractions that make your belly tightened up like a fist every 10 minutes or more often;
  • change in the color of your vaginal discharge, or bleeding from your vagina;
  • the feeling that your baby is pushing down, called pelvic pressure; and
  • low, dull backache, cramps that feel like your period and belly cramps with or without diarrhea.

All pregnant women regardless of a disaster should know these signs and symptoms of preterm labor. Pregnant women should also discuss an alternative birth location with their provider should the hospital you are planning on delivering at is not accessible. In the high likelihood that a pregnant woman should become displaced and have to go to an emergency shelter, she should have a copy of her prenatal care record with her and inform shelter officials upon arrival that she is pregnant.

To continue reading the Q&A, visit APHA’s Get Ready campaign.