Emergent Childbirth

AKA: What To Do If The Baby is Born Before the Midwives Arrive

Read these instructions several times together in the last few weeks of pregnancy and become thoroughly familiar with them and post them in a prominent place. At the time of birth, call us to let us know what is happening. We can stay on the phone together during the birth so we can give feedback as needed, FaceTime is particularly preferred if you have an iPhone. Of course you are always encouraged to call 911 as well if it would make you more comfortable.

  1. Remain calm. When babies are born very quickly, it is most often because nothing is holding them up and most of the time everything is perfectly fine.

  2. If able, place an underpad from your birth kit underneath the mother and have towels and washcloths close by.

  3. The mother will know the best position for her to give birth in, so let her stay wherever she is most comfortable.

  4. When she feels an urge to push, ask her to blow through each contraction until the urge is overwhelming. If she cannot keep herself from pushing do not try to stop her.

  5. As the baby’s head appears, ask the mother to exhale in small blowing breaths, allowing her perineum to stretch slowly.

  6. Once the baby’s head is out fully, it is normal for there to be a pause between contractions as the body is prepared to be born. The body usually comes with the next contraction. Allow the body to come out on its own; do not touch or pull on baby’s head. Simply support baby’s head with your hand.

  7. We will be on the phone to offer feedback, but if, after two more contractions, the body does not come out, help the mother move to her hands and knees or stand up. Be ready to catch the baby if it comes out suddenly.

  8. Support the baby with two hands as it is born, and place the baby directly on the mother’s chest on her bare skin. Keep baby skin-to-skin with mom, place a clean towel or receiving blanket over baby.

  9. Usually the baby will be pink and crying by this time, but it may take up to a minute for baby to breathe and baby may not cry. This is normal.

10.Placing baby to breast to nurse can help encourage the normal clamping down of the uterus and help decrease blood flow. The midwife will be on the phone giving suggestions and feedback if needed re: blood loss and baby’s respiratory efforts.