Emergency childbirth – instruction, precautions, steps

Babies do not always come at a convenient or expected time. The following guidelines are suggested for care of the mother and child in the event of an emergency childbirth when no doctor is available. These instructions should be read in advance so that one has a general idea, at least, of what to expect, what to do, and what not to do.

Do’s

  • Do have the woman lie down on the cleanest available surface with her knees elevated
  • Do wash your hands frequently
  • Do support the baby’s head and shoulders as he is coming out and catch the baby when he is fully out
  • Do break any membrane surrounding the baby (if he is born with it) by pinching with the finger just below the baby’s nose
  • Do help the baby breathe, if necessary, by clearing fluid and mucus out of his throat and placing him on his side across his mother’s abdomen with his head lower than his feet; gently snap the bottom of his feet 2 to 3 times
  • Do wrap the baby in a clean blanket and place on the mother’s abdomen while waiting for the afterbirth to come
  • Do wrap the afterbirth with the baby in the blanket and place them in the mother’s arms
  • Do massage mother’s abdomen, just below the navel, when the afterbirth has been expelled. The firm lump is the uterus. If it does not stay firm, cup your hands around it and massage it until it does; do this for at least an hour
  • Do give the mother water to drink
  • Do obtain medical help as soon as possible

 

Don’ts

  • Do not touch the vaginal opening
  • Do not let the mother get up to go to the bathroom once the baby’s head begins to show
  • Do not pull the baby out of the mother
  • Do not allow the mother to push between contractions
  • Do not touch the cord after the baby is out
  • Do not pull on the cord; let it come out on its own; there will be a sudden gush of blood (about 2 cups) at this point
  • Do not stretch the cord; support it as it comes out of the vagina
  • Do not cut the umbilical cord unless the doctor has not arrived after an hour; then use the following procedure: tie a clean piece of twine, or tape, tight around the cord, about six inches from the baby; make a second tie about 2 inches further away. Sterilize a sharp scissors, or knife, by flaming the blades, or by soaking in tincture of iodine for 5 minutes and cut the cord between the ties
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