Of all the things that could affect breastfeeding, would you believe that electricity is one of them?
In our neighborhood, the power goes out regularly.
And with the wave of hurricanes, earthquakes and tornados hitting the East Coast recently, the threat of outages has never been higher.
You see, we’re collecting a stockpile of breastmilk so my wife can reduce and then stop feeding and pumping in a few months, but still have the good stuff available for our daughter until she is at least one year old. We’re already a third of the way to our goal and our freezer is more packed every day.
Months of pumping, bottling, bagging and storing can go to waste if the power is out for just 24 hours, as the frozen milk will thaw and spoil.
Thankfully, despite all the natural disasters that have come our way, we haven’t lost power for more than a few minutes…yet. But we have come up with this emergency plan for keeping the milk frozen.
Step 1 – Prep a cooler. We begin by bagging ice from our freezer that pad a cooler, should we need to transfer the milk out of the freezer. Naturally, make sure all freezer packs are frozen, too.
Step 2 – Arrange a back-up freezer. We have friends and family in nearby areas with more stable power grids on-call before a storm hits. If we lose power we can throw the milk in the prepared cooler and make it to one of our back-up freezers before anything thaws.
Step 3 – Keep the freezer closed. Unless you are ready to load milk into a cooler, keep the freezer door shut! Every time you open a freezer, you let out cold air. When the power is out, that cold air isn’t replenished. So keep that door sealed shut.
Bonus – For extra credit, get a small generator and a can of gasoline to power the freezer until the electricity comes back on.
Losing power is scary, and the threat of three months of food going down the drain is even scarier. A little preparation can ease those worries.