A really, really long time ago, I wrote about having a baby and being a new parent in the post-apocalypse (and by extension, the apocalypse). In those posts, I had all sorts of fun tips about how to survive with a baby and all that during the fun post-apocalyptic period before things settle down into quaint dystopia.
I had a baby not too long ago, so everything is once again fresh in my mind. Therefore, I’m here to add one more tip about having a baby in the post-apocalypse:
Don’t do it.
Why? you might ask. After all, won’t we need to repopulate the planet after a good majority of the population are decimated by Asgardians/zombies/evil space monkeys?
Well, yeah, obviously we’ll have to rebuild. But seriously, don’t do it when the post-apocalypse is so fresh you can still see the fires burning over New York City. Wait until after things have settled and humans have all been enslaved/made to fight each other to the death on TV/turned into zombies.
Because otherwise, you will probably die. Your baby, too. And you wouldn’t want to be responsible for the death of a helpless tiny human who looks really cute, now do you? I thought not.
I’m sure I’m missing a lot of things that highlight why you should hold off on creating Mini Yous, but I’ve had about seven hours of sleep over the last two days and I’m having a hard time putting together coherent sentences.
But in that vein, let’s say that the sleep deprivation alone can kill you. Perhaps not outright, but you’ll be slow and sluggish and zombie-like. In fact, you may even be mistaken for a zombie. (I don’t think I need to point out how that would be a bad thing.)
If you’re trying to hide from zombies/marauding robots/angry aliens, your angrily hungry baby is going to give away your position. Every two to three hours. Imagine trying to hide and/or flee when you have to stop every two to three hours for an hour to feed your baby while simultaneously making sure nobody finds you (and your baby). So that, you know, you can stay alive and not get eaten/enslaved/kidnapped/whatever.
And there’s the matter of what to feed the baby. Oh, sure, everyone’s going to tell you that breastfeeding is best (and yes, it is), but the fact is, some women can’t breastfeed. Some women can’t make milk — they may not have the ability to make prolactin, the hormone that stimulates lactation (this is actually a thing). How do you feed a baby if you can’t make milk and formula is scarce? You’d have to find a wet nurse…or starve your baby. (Pro tip: starving your baby is bad.) Or you horde formula like Scrooge hordes coins. If you have formula, will you have bottles? And where will you prepare said formula? You won’t exactly have a kitchen with you.
(Disclosure: through three children, I have been unable to make milk. It’s probably safe to say I have the inability to make prolactin. I did, however, try so hard to breastfeed that I didn’t feed my two older kids enough for the first few weeks. Needless to say, I’ve always been a formula feeder.)
Let’s not forget the poopy diapers. Those things will leave a trail that leads RIGHT TO YOU, regardless of where you go. And if you hold on to them so that you’re not dropping unfortunate bread crumbs through the post-apocalyptic landscape, the smell will follow you. Which means that instead of leaving a physical trail, you’ll leave an olfactory trail of bread crumbs. Either way, zombies and aliens and general bad guys will be able to find you. (And you’ll still need to get rid of those diapers.)
Lastly, having a newborn will slow you down in general. You need to take care of them, and tiny humans are needy and dependent on you. They need things (like diapers). You need to provide those things, so you need to carry those things around. Also, they’re loud and don’t sleep in long stretches (not like older kids and adults, anyway). In other words, you will be vulnerable because of your baby’s vulnerability. And since you’re trying to survive, it’s probably not a good idea to have someone with you who can slow you down and get you dead. You know.
This is, of course, assuming that you survived childbirth in the first place. Because seriously, childbirth is a dangerous and potentially deadly event.
So my (actual) advice is to wait to have babies until after things settle down to whatever post-apocalyptic society rises from the ashes of the apocalypse. Don’t do it right away. Wait until you have a permanent settlement/city/whatever to live in, some semblance of adequate medical care, and a lack of zombies/aliens/robots/marauding bad guys.
You’ll have a better chance of surviving that way.
Now…pardon me while I take a nap.