What can I do to recover after a disaster if I am pregnant?

The effects of a disaster can range from minor to devastating. Before, during or after the event people might be forced to leave their homes. It can be a scary and stressful time, especially for pregnant women. A person's response to a traumatic event may vary. Women, who are often the caretakers of the family, are at risk for depression, due to grief over lost family members, friends and material possessions. Pregnant women are even more vulnerable.

Women are encouraged to seek mental health services and access other services set up to help them through agencies such as Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the American Red Cross and March of Dimes. Local organizations, including churches and shelters, can often help provide basic needs such as shelter, food, water and diapers. Pregnant women are urged to talk with a healthcare provider, if available, about any pregnancy questions or concerns.

Women who need additional information about the effects of exposures related to a disaster on pregnancy or breastfeeding can call the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS) at 1-866-626-OTIS or 1-866-626-6847.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.