Information and tools for coping with emergencies mentally

Traumatic Stress While Pregnant or Breastfeeding

Pregnant women

The tiny fetus in your uterus feels you, your heartbeat, your breath intervals, your blood pressure and the voices that he or she hears around you. A fetus needs a calm environment to grow and develop. Pregnancy itself may be stressful, and even more so now.

It is important that you find the ways to help you relax, like engaging in an enjoyable activity with your partner or talking to a friend. It is important to find the right dosage of screen times and catching up with the latest alarming updates, since they increase your stress levels.
Tips for coping with stress

If you are feeling stress that makes it difficult for you to function, you may want to seek professional help
List of phone numbers for emotional support

In some cases, your primary care physician may recommend that you take certain anti-stress medications that were found safe for use during pregnancy. You may ask for a physician's opinion or consult the Teratological counseling center.
The Teratology Information Center

Breastfeeding women

The importance of breastfeeding during pregnancy

In situation of emergency and distress, mother's milk is the cleanest and safest food available for babies. It is nutritionally suitable for the baby, always available regardless of external factors, always in the right temperature. Breastfeeding during emergency situations saves lives since it protects the baby from sickness, especially diarrhea and respiratory infections that increase during emergency situations. It also augments and reinforces the baby's immune response. Therefore, especially during such times, it is important that you continue breastfeeding to provide your baby with optimal protection, even in places with poor hygienic conditions such as bomb shelters and crowded spaces. Many studies from disaster-stricken areas prove that breastfeeding babies survive better.
Therefore, especially now, it is important that you breastfeed your baby to provide him or her with protection.

Difficulty breastfeeding during stress

Emergency situations stress everyone, including breastfeeding mothers, but with support and proper information nearly every woman can continue breastfeeding even during these situations. Such support includes supporting the mother's choice to breastfeed and taking care of her basic needs such as emotional support, food and, if this is important to her, privacy.

Mothers who have just given birth may have some difficulty starting the production of milk during stressful situations, and these women require professional guidance. Even if you were unable to produce milk immediately, this is a reversible condition and you should keep trying.

There are myths that stress may cause the mother's milk to run dry. The truth is that in a state of extreme stressor fear, milk flow might be reduced or slower, but even this response, like any other response to stress and stress, is temporary and passing. It is important to remember that the production of milk continues for as long as you attach your baby to your breast and breastfeed.

Many women find breastfeeding as a means to relieve their own stress and stress thanks to the soothing hormones secreted while breastfeeding that calm both mother and child. In addition, the skin-on-skin contact during breastfeeding also contributes to calming both the baby and the mother.

Temporarily stopping breastfeeding

If you are feeling that you are temporarily unable to breastfeed, it is important to pump the milk either by pump or manually at intervals equal to the number of breastfeeding times per day, so you can resume breastfeeding when you are ready. Pumping maintains the production of milk and prevents congestion, inflammations and more.

In case of breastfeeding or pumping mothers who have been recruited or evacuated from their homes, and they do not have access to breast pumps, you may send an e-mail to with the title "I need a pump" and we will try to assist in finding a pump for the mothers.

Setting up a comfortable environment

During periods of military conflicts and constant sirens, it is important that you prepare a comfortable and cozy "breastfeeding nest" either in the apartment shelter or in public shelters if there are any. This "nest" should include a comfortable sitting area, water, baby wipes and tasty and healthy food that will provide both mother and child with a sense of security in cases where they are required to stay in the shelter for some time. Suitable foods for breastfeeding mothers are fresh or dried fruits, nuts, almonds, whole-grain crackers. Even mothers who do not eat regularly or who eat smaller quantities due to their stress and stress can still breastfeed normally and efficiently.

Breastfeeding support from others

  • It is important to encourage the breastfeeding mother for her efforts to breastfeed.
  • It is important to take care of the mother's physical needs such as nutritious and healthy food, water (preferably water) and short breaks for self-care (including breathing exercises, physical activity and the like).
  • It is important to help the breastfeeding mother with other tasks, such as taking care of the other children.
  • It is important to provide emotional support to the mother, including giving her the opportunity to talk about the situation, helping her calm down by meditation exercises, giving her time off to take care of herself.
  • In case of women who value privacy while breastfeeding, it is important to help them find ways, according to the situation, to breastfeed in private.

Donations of breast milk from mothers to infants without mothers

The National Mother's Milk Bank has created an infrastructure with a safety net that can give support in any emergency, including war.
Further information on the National Mother's Milk Bank

If you have no access to mother's milk, it is greatly important that you follow the safety protocols when preparing baby formula according to the manufacturer's instructions and general hygiene practices both when preparing the formula and when serving it to the baby.
Breastfeeding women should not be encouraged to use formula, since this may tamper with their milk production, which is the safer option for feeding the baby.

Professional help for breastfeeding women

If you feel that you need help breastfeeding or information about the nutrition of babies, you are welcome to contact one of the following:

  • Staff at Tipat Halav clinics
  • Tipat Halav's hotline (*5400 or 08-6241010 extension 2 then extension 9, Sunday through Thursday between 16:00 and 21:00, and Fridays from 8:00 to 13:00).
  • The HMOs' hotlines

Further information for breastfeeding women on the internet (in Hebrew):

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