Ok well you have posted some great advice and I have learnt a great deal from it BUT I was wondering if you would be able to post some info of what to do in the case of an emergancy!
As in what happens if you are having a home birth and the midwife does not make it on time or if you are at home alone and such.
It is a growing fear that if this happenes i have no idea what to do.
What should I do first?
•Call 911. Tell the dispatcher that your baby is coming and that you need an emergency medical squad immediately.
•Unlock your door so the medical crew can open it. You may not be in a position to get to the door later.
•If your partner isn't there with you, call a neighbor or nearby friend.
•Call your doctor or midwife. She'll stay on the phone to guide you until help arrives.
•Grab towels, sheets, or blankets. Put one underneath you and keep the rest nearby so you can dry your baby immediately after birth. (If help doesn't arrive in time and you forget this step, you can use your clothes instead.)
•If you feel an overwhelming urge to push, try to put it off by panting, using breathing techniques, or lying on your side. Be sure to lie down or sit propped up. If you deliver standing up, your baby could fall and suffer a serious injury. And don't forget to take off your pants and underwear.
What should I do if my baby arrives before help does?
•Try to stay calm. Babies that arrive quickly usually deliver with ease.
•Do your best to guide him out as gently as possible.
•If the umbilical cord is around your baby's neck, either ease it over his head slowly or loosen it enough to form a loop so that the rest of his body can slip through. When he's fully out, don't pull the cord, and don't try to tie off or cut the cord. Leave it attached to your baby until help arrives.
•Stay where you are until you deliver the placenta, which should arrive shortly. Leave the placenta attached to the cord, too – medical personnel will take care of it.
•Dry your baby immediately. Then rest him on your tummy, skin to skin, and warm him with your body heat. Cover yourself and your baby with a dry blanket.
•Ease any mucus or amniotic fluid from his nostrils by gently running your fingers down the sides of his nose.
•If your baby doesn't cry spontaneously at birth, stimulate him by firmly rubbing up and down his back.
•While you're waiting for medical help, try to get your baby to nurse – but only if you can keep the umbilical cord slack, not taut (sometimes, if the placenta is still inside you, the cord won't be long enough to allow you to bring your baby to your breast). Besides offering him comfort and security – and giving you a chance to see him close up – his suckling will prompt your body to release more oxytocin, the hormone that stimulates contractions, which will help the placenta separate and be delivered. After the placenta is out, keep nursing to help your uterus continue to contract – a well-contracted uterus is necessary to keep bleeding in check. If your baby won't nurse right away, manually stimulate your nipples to release the hormone.
•After you deliver the placenta, firmly massage your uterus by vigorously rubbing your belly right below your navel. This will help your uterus contract and remain contracted.
That's a great idea! And ketona, these are some great guidelines! I always worry I will never make it to the birthing center in time because I always have a hard time figuring out when I am truly in labor. I had a friend who was going to give birth at a birthing center, and well, she never made it out the door of her house and her husband had to deliver the baby. The midwife arrived at her house 3 min after the baby was born. Scary and crazy!!
There's a whole book on it. Most of the time, about 9 times out of 10 (or 90%) everything will be absolutely fine. I know many women who choose an unassisted birth (they do have emergency transportation plans in the event of emergency of course). We've been giving birth for ages and long ago it was unassisted. Only in rare instances did something bad happen and most of those things would happen no matter where you were (at the hospital, at home or on the road).
Anyway after baby is born it is okay to not cut the cord or clamp. The dispatcher on the phone will most likely tell you to use a shoelace to tie it off and then cut the cord. That is the least of your worries! The baby can remain attached to the cord/placenta for several hours; it won't harm anything.
What you do need to focus on is keeping baby warm until assistance arrives.
Another thing - if baby ends up coming out butt or feet first (breech) vaginal birth IS very possible. The rule is to keep your hands OFF the breech. No pulling. Just let yourself push and have your hands or someone's hands under baby to catch them. You have to push on your hands-and-knees or squatting for breech delivery.
Just keep lots of fresh, clean towels available in your car and at home. You don't have to wipe the vernix off of baby right away either; it contains antibodies that helps protect your newborn from infection and disease so no need to wash immediately; just get them wrapped up and love on them!
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