Lack of Information inthe media

Emergencies happen, in urban and rural Australia. Breastfeeding during an emergency situation is important to keep babies safely hydrated and fed. Share your stories and information in this section.
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Lack of Information inthe media

Post by kay » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:57 am

Thanks Karleen for suggesting this catergory. As a health professional I was concerned that during the flood crisis there has been little information disseminated in the media about infant feeding in an emergency. I know ABA released a media statement but unfortunately it wasn't widely reported. Maybe I just missed it in all the drama. I didn't see or hear anything from Qld. Health either. Maybe the media just doesn't understand how vulnerable babies are in these situations.
I would be interested to know from forumites how much coverage of our media statement they saw or heard?

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Post by Feebes » Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:03 am

Well I wasn't at all effected by the floods, but the only coverage that I read about, was on here. I didn't see anything in the media, not one thing.

I live in SA though, so maybe that had something to do with it??

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Post by TheSlayer » Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:49 am

I live in QLD and had the blanket coverage of it on constantly during that week, and I never heard a thing in the media.

The only thing I saw was on the book courtesy of ABA; and then there were people driving around providing short term provisions in care packages; some of which included ABM.
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lack of information in the media

Post by kay » Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:36 am

Perhaps we need a more stongly worded media release and/ or an opinion piece from an expert.( Karleen perhaps). It would be great if some of those popular morning shows picked it up.

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Post by Mummy woo! » Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:40 am

I saw nothing here in Canberra.

In the paper I did see a mum with an 8 day old baby and her four older children living on a couple of matresses in an indoor cricket centre. She didn't even have a chair to sit on, let alone a peaceful quiet space to feed her baby had she wanted to. How the heck was she going to establish breastfeeding in those conditions? I still think about her weeks later.
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Post by Vahvempi » Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:48 am

i'm in swan hill bracing for isolation and inundation and I have heard NOTHING about feeding babies, toddlers or infants.
We even had a visit front both the council and DSE.

Luckily X is BF and C eats everything anyway...

I'd like some info if worse comes to worst.

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Post by Karleen » Fri Jan 28, 2011 12:35 pm

Hi Kay,
No the media reporting has not been good. There has been some reporting of the need for infant formula in affcted areas and military deliveries of infant formula got a fair amount of press but that's about it. Even discussion of health concerns after the flooding has not touched on risks to babies. Frankly, we were caught wrong footed with this...some of us are working on resources that will hopefully make the repsonse in future emergencies better (and ABA personel better placed to be more involved). Mums who are breastfeeding AND those who are formula feeding need appropriate support and help. I think that these emergencies have exposed our weaknesses in this area.
Anyway, please keep spreading the word around that we need to hear from mums about their experiences and how they cared for their babies...

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lack of information in the media

Post by kay » Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:55 pm

I agree Karleen. I also work with formula feeding mothers and they need information about supplies necessary to safely feed when you don't have power. Many haven't thought about it.
Also some breastfeeding mothers contemplate weaning for various reasons without taking into account how they would cope in an emergency. There really needs to be greater public recognition of this issue. Especially as more weather events are forcast here in Qld. and also the ongoing flooding in Victoria.

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Lack of information in the media

Post by kay » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:03 pm

Also in reply to jmorphy. I really hope the levees in your area are effective and you don't get inundated. You can be sure all in the ABA family have you and other affected Victorian families in our thoughts.
Just keep on brestfeeding! Keep your mobile charged and key in our 1800 no. so you can give a quick call if you have any concerns. All the very best.

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Post by foggylog » Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:27 pm

I didn't see anything on TV, or hear on radioe about feeding babies, except occasional formula availability.

but i like ABA on facebook and 'shared' the link for the emergency feeding that was posted on there., but that's all i saw
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Post by Samby » Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:45 pm

If there is no fresh water and power is cut off (so no boiling water) then Formula would not be safe either would it??

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Post by ~K~ » Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:45 pm

I wonder if the ABA announcement wasn't widely spread due to the fact that breastfeeding mum don't need outsiders to help as compared to formula feeding mums.

Or they aren't considered as needy as formula feeding mum's.

What I mean is that formula feeding mum's need someone to supply formula and clean water as well as electricity to feed, or tetra packs of ready to go formula. Whereas a breastfeeding mum just needs her breasts.

I dunno just a thought. I hadn't considered the mum in Mummy Woo's example :oops:

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Lack of information in the media

Post by kay » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:38 am

Yes formula feeding is definitely potentially unsafe when power is cut off. Gas cooking appliances are an alternative. Cups are easier to clean than bottles. I wonder how many families plan for this.
I wrote a letter to the local Sunday newspaper but it wasn't published. However it has an article about what to put in an emergency kit. It has nothing specific for infant feeding.Though it does mention pet food and supplies!
It says water for 3 days but nothing about needing 24 litres a day for feeding and sterilizing equipment.Nothing about gas cooking appliances to boil water.
And yes there is also little awareness of the needs of breastfeeding women. Especially the new mothers and babies who are learning to breastfeed--areas put aside where they can feel comfortable and with the support of breastfeeding counsellors.
Keep those stories coming for Karleen. The information she gains will help change things for the better.

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Post by Karleen » Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:26 pm

Unfortunately the ABA press release was not released quickly enough and wasn't in the best form to enable it to be widely used....we need to do better next time.
We didn'y have good info in the media for formula feeding mums either. There is the misconception that all that is needed is formula but that's so far from thhe truth.

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Post by Dolly » Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:28 pm

I live in Adelaide. I didn't see any mention of BFing on the TV or internet news sites.
The only mention I saw was here on this forum.

There is another group which hasn't been mentioned - exclusive expressers. If I was required to express manually I would end up with mastitis and not enought milk for my bub. So with EEers there are 2 people at risk. I had thought about what I would do if we lost wide spread power for an extended period of time. I know that the local maternity hospital would have back up power and equipment for me to express if required. In a flood situation I would be cut off from the hospital.
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