The theme for World Breastfeeding Week 2009 is Breastfeeding: A Vital Emergency Response. Truth be told, I have been fortunate enough not to experience a severe emergency or disaster, but I have had my own experience with a natural disaster. While my experience below is nothing compared to what some others have gone through, it is still my own, and I am still grateful that I was breastfeeding.
During the ice storm of 2007, my house was without power for ... I forget how many days. Ten. Eleven. Twelve? The Boy was just eleven months old and still nursed relatively frequently. When we lost power, my first concern was the cold, not how I would feed my son. My second concern was finding us a place with power and a place for the dog as well. There were no hotel rooms available with power, but fortunately a coworker with a daughter just older than The Boy still had power and welcome us in to their home.
We were actually without power the day prior to the ice storm as well when a mini-ice storm came through. We hung with Brooke and Paul for the day and then headed back to our own powered up home. Because I knew from the weather reports that the worst was coming, after I got The Boy in bed, I packed us an "essentials" bag with clothes, diapers and a few additional items in the event that we needed leave the next day.
What was not in my bag? Anything to feed The Boy. I had just what he needed during the scary and stressful days ahead-- my breasts. If we found no place with a stove to cook, it would not matter. I did not need to make a bottle. I actually had to go back to the house to fetch bottles and some frozen breastmilk in order for him to return to daycare, because they were not even on my radar when we left.
Have you had an experience where you were grateful to be nursing? A time without power? Running water?