Post Disaster Pregnancy, Are You Prepared?


Post Disaster Pregnancy, Are You Prepared?

Disasters bring insecurity and fear. Being close to a loved one is one way to lessen the anxiety of a situation out of your control. The need to be close to your loved one can result in post disaster pregnancies. The norm becomes skewed and nature takes over.

Post Disaster Pregnancy, Are You Prepared?

There have been disasters such as hurricanes, power outages, winter storms, and terrorist attacks that may have resulted in what have become known as the “Fertility Effect of Catastrophe”.  These types of occurrences include situations such as the New York City blackout in 1965, Hurricane Andrew 1992, 911 in 2001, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Sandy 2012.  There have been multiple devastating tornadoes including one in El Reno, OK in 2013 which was 2.6 miles wide. It was the largest ever recorded. Recent flooding, December 2015 in Missouri, show how quickly things can get out of control jeopardizing lives that only hours before were peaceful. Reports of spikes in births approximately nine months after many of these disasters have been reported. This is difficult to prove or disprove with certainty since many people relocate out of the area of disaster and in some cases others move into the area to help rebuild the destruction caused by the occurrence. This movement in and out makes factual statistics difficult to calculate. The thing that is not in question is human nature.  Disaster encourages people to seek comfort from loved ones during trying times.

Why Would a Post Disaster Cause an Increase in Pregnancies?

As a society, we have become very dependent on entertainment delivered via television, computers, smart phones and social media. Without power, many people lack ways to fill free time. Boredom sets in and people turn to each other for comfort. Add this need of security with a power outage with darkness and candles and nature often takes over.

The type of disasters from the recent past were recoverable situations, even though they required several years. The areas not affected by these disasters continued living in much the same way as they had with exceptions of potential loss of loved ones from the situations. If a disaster were to happen encompassing the entire nation such as a societal collapse, things could be much different.

How Can You Prepare Yourself For the Unthinkable?

Birth Control

The birth control you may currently use will run out at some point. Take some time to consider alternate ways to prevent unplanned pregnancies. Getting birth control prescriptions, patches or shots refilled may not be an option. Condoms will breakdown over time and may not last longer than two – three years. If you are using an internal device find out how long it can safely stay in your body? Have a conversation with your doctor to see what alternatives may be available.

Even though it is not one of the most effective forms of birth control, you may want to learn how to use natural family planning known as the “Rhythm method”.

Post Disaster Prenatal Care

Our society has come a long way over the years making pregnancy a time of joy for most people. The fear of death during pregnancy is not generally a fear. The day of birth is a day of celebration with few people having complications that cannot be handled by trained medical staff. What happens if trained medical staff is unavailable?  Joseph Alton, M.D. and his wife Amy Alton, A.R.N.P. have written two books: “The Survival Medicine Handbook: A guide for When Help is Not on the Way” and “The Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Handbook: Keep your Loved Ones Healthy in Every Disaster, from Wildfires to a Complete Societal Collapse” that have some great information on many issues that might be encountered in a collapse situation including pregnancy.

Post Disaster Pregnancy, Are You Prepared?Unless you have medical professionals in your family or group, you will be left on your own regarding prenatal care. There are some sources of help you might want to investigate and have on hand. The well known book, “What to Expect When Your are Expecting” is a great book. There is a great deal of information tucked in this article about various ways to help prepare for prenatal care: Pregnancy and Prenatal Care Articles. I truly hope there never comes a time when a pregnant mom-to-be would have to go it alone without professional help during such a wonderful time of life.

If you have members of your family that are of child bearing age or will be in the next several years, you might want to acquire pregnancy test kits, Pre-Natal Vitamins and a Delivery Kit, Umbilical Cord Scissors and Umbilical Cord Clamp.

In the absence of a doctor or midwife during a societal collapse, there is an article that may be helpful to print and keep on hand, “How to Deliver a Baby”, (NOT recommended unless there are NO trained medical personnel available).  You might want to check with your doctor to see if he can recommend any alternative training programs for birthing and how to cut and clamp the umbilical cord. Make sure to take a class such as those offered by Lamaze. This article, ”The Lamaze Method of Childbirth” will give you some very useful information. Many years ago I used this method with all three of my children’s births and highly recommend it. It gives the prospective mom and dad knowledge of what is going on during the birthing process and takes away fear. The breathing methods learned also help diminish pain. This would be a double benefit since pain medication would not be available.  I have even used the breathing methods with other forms of pain throughout my life and find they work very well. There is a series of FREE video childbirth classes that are very informative. Take a little time and view them, it will be worth your while.

During a period of collapse, having every capable body available to re-establish living conditions will be important. A pregnant family member will not be able to offer as much as she might if not pregnant. Once society is able to regain itself to some livable degree, the addition of new little people to carry on would be a great blessing.

Take a little time to make sure you are prepared for the unthinkable. A societal collapse, such as an unforeseen environmental disaster or an attack on our homeland will not come with a warning. No one can prepare for everything. There have been enough disasters in the recent past to make it a worthwhile project to formulate a plan and get some supplies on hand to help minimize what would be a chaotic time.

Please share your thoughts in the comment section and help others. Subscribe to receive a weekly article from Blue Jean Mama. Thanks for stopping by.

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4 Responses so far.

  1. Cheryl says:

    There’s also something else…talk to the older women in your group if you have any. Many of us have birth several times without any medication. Not that we didn’t want it, for me at least, it was not available. We can explain, in bare bones detail, what’s happening to your body while in labor. Any smart older woman would not want to scare you, rather, reassure you what’s happening during the process. Truly, we are a wealth of information.

    • Blue Jean Mama says:

      I agree, I too had natural childbirth. It was my decision and I think it was the right one for me. Childbirth should be an awesome experience of what seems like a miracle. Is there pain, yes, but it is WELL worth it to see that bundle of love. The more information about what is happening throughout the process, the less stress. I hate to hear people tell horror stories to first time moms. There is much better information they can give that is useful. Thank you for your thoughts, great.

  2. Heather says:

    Definitely important considerations, though I do have a few suggestions for a broader spectrum of information. A couple of books that I feel are vastly more important and informational over What to Expect (which I found to be exceedingly “call your Dr” and fear-based) would be Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin, and for a more medical midwifery view, Heart And Hands by Elizabeth Davis. Granted – Ina May might be a little bit more “woo” than some people would like, but she definitely knows what she’s talking about with childbirth. Also a good reference for herbal support of a pregnant/birthing/post-natal woman is by Susun Weed, Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year.

    I would also recommend getting your hands on a copy of Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. Natural family planning is leagues beyond the “rhythm method”, when it is a sympto-thermal method such as what is advocated in the book by Weschler. It is a legitimate method of birth control, unlike the rhythm method.

    • Blue Jean Mama says:

      Super information. Thank you very much. All the information a person can gather will help in any situation, normal or post disaster.

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