Yes, we try to plan for just about anything at Corpus Christi Birth Center. Living on the coast of South Texas, the most likely emergency of an extreme nature that we might face would be a hurricane. So, during hurricane season, we want our patients to know what to do if we are unable to safely provide services for you during to any emergency that might prevent us from providing care.
In the event of an emergency, we will make every effort to contact each of our patient’s individually and if unable to do so, we will leave a recorded message on our answering machine with instructions.
If the city of Corpus Christi orders an evacuation of the area, we will advise our patients to follow those evacuation orders. Our staff cannot be available or responsible for your care during an evacuation. However, we are often able to make arrangements for our patients with midwives or birthing centers in other communities. During Hurricane Harvey, we were able to send two of our full term patients to the San Antonio Birth Center where the midwives there were able to provide complete care if needed during the evacuation period. Since Hurricane Harvey, midwives across Texas have continued to work together to come up with more ways we can help each other during a natural disaster.
When hurricane season is underway, we want to encourage all families to be prepared for a possible evacuation. We have compiled some information to help expecting families and families with newborns during an emergency. Any further questions should be discussed with the midwives during your prenatal appointment!
Making an evacuation plan:
We recommend that pregnant women further than 30 weeks’ gestational age evacuate for hurricanes category 2 or higher as care by the birth center may not be readily available during a storm. Also, sanitation and nutrition conditions after a hurricane may not be safe for pregnant women and the babies they carry.
Families should have a plan for where they would evacuate and how, and where they would receive medical care if needed during the time they are gone. Please discuss your plans with us because midwives in other regions are often willing to be available if we can contact them prior to evacuation. Just talk to us and we can give you referrals. Our patients will be expected to make their own financial arrangements for any additional care provided by any other care providers during an emergency, however some providers provide such emergency services for free or at a reduced rate.
Families who do not choose to evacuate can get care through local EMS or by presenting to any local emergency room. The midwives of the Corpus Christi Birth Center may be unable to provide local care during a hurricane category 2 or higher and depending on damage to utilities, streets and buildings, after a storm we may also be limited on what we can do.
We strongly recommend feeding newborns exclusively breast milk. In an emergency, breast feeding is the best option as it does not require use of water which could be contaminated or bottles which may be difficult to keep sterile. Formula should only be used if a newborn gets separated from his or her mother.
While evacuating remember to continue to eat and drink, staying well-nourished is vital to maintaining a healthy pregnancy. If drinking tap water, be sure to follow public announcements that may instruct you to boil or treat water before drinking it. Try to drink at least 8 cups of water per day.
Supplies Checklist for Pregnant Mothers:
- Clean Maternity Clothes
- Food and Water for at least 1 week
- At least a 1 week supply of any necessary medications
- Client Care medical record – printed out in the case power is unavailable.
- Phone and Chargers – a way to re-charge your phone without electricity.
- If you are near term, have emergency birth supplies and baby items on hand
Supplies Checklist for Newborn:
- Car seat and/or other carriers
- Diapers and Wipes
- Hand Sanitizer
- Enough formula for 1 week and water (for emergencies only, breastfeeding is the best option)
- Clean clothes and blankets
- Instructions for any special needs- feeding, sleeping schedule, etc.
- Medical records, printed
- Identification of newborn and identification documents
- Emergency contact information, printed