Medical emergencies come uninvited and at the most unexpected times. While we try our best to avoid them, the situations aren’t always in our control.
Though scenarios like these where a pregnant mother is unable to reach the hospital in time are extremely rare, as a partner or another woman, you must have a faint idea of how to cope with such an emergency. It may be that the mother can’t hold onto her contractions and the baby is already on the way.
Zooming athwart the city, breaking all signals to get her safely to the hospital may seem like a scene straight out of a movie. Though it is unlikely that a pregnancy and labor becomes unpredictable to such an extent, the minimum you can do is be equipped with the knowledge to act right in that crucial moment.
We have a 7 step ‘do-it-yourself’ for delivering a baby to prepare you for the worse.
1. Don’t Panic
Usually, the first reaction in any critical situation is panic. It is obvious to freak out if the baby is on the way, you are the only help around and you don’t know what to do.
Don’t push that panic button right away—remember that women have been birthing even before hospitals came into the picture. It is a natural process that can happen on its own. Don’t go crazy—try to stay calm and be with the mother at all times because there are high chances that she would have panicked too.
2. Call The Emergency Number
The next thing to do is call an emergency number—it could be 911, the midwife’s number or the doctor’s contact. If there is a doctor who is present there or lives next door, get to work and get hold of them.
On the call, explain the situation to them and hear carefully what they have to say. Stay close to the mother throughout the time.
3. Be Prepared To Take Over The Situation
If you feel that it’s just you who has to take hold of the situation then do it. Nevermind the car seats, because even that mom wasn’t willing to go into labor in that space. Stop your vehicle if you are driving; cover her with a towel, sheet or bed cover. Before you begin, wash your hands if you can.
If the mother wants to sit on all fours, squat or lean on something, let her take a position as per her comfort.
4. Be Ready To Hold The Baby
When you see the head emerge, don’t intervene or pull the baby out. Wait for the baby’s head to come out completely and cup it with your hands. The baby’s body will turn and follow.
5. Grab The Baby In Clean Towel
The baby’s body is slippery being covered in fluids and blood. Grab a clean towel or cloth and hold the little one until the whole body emerges. Again, don’t pull the baby out.
Don’t worry if you see blood and fluids—it is a part of the delivery. Rub the baby with a clean towel, make sure they are breathing and crying—don’t spank the baby on the buttocks, it is not in practice anymore. Keep the newborn on his/her mother’s body.
6. The Umbilical Cord And Placenta
If the umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby, untangle it as the baby’s body is delivered. You don’t have to cut the cord—keep them close to the mother while they are still attached to her through the cord.
Once the help arrives they can take care of the delivery of the placenta. However, in case that is again left to you then you must know that placenta is delivered within 30 minutes of baby’s birth. Don’t pull out the umbilical cord, let things happen on their own.
Collect the placenta in a cloth or newspaper. Don’t be too keen to cut the umbilical cord because you need sterilized tools for the same. Leave it to the medical team.
Don’t intervene in the process of birth, trying to speed up things or pull out the baby—you will only do more harm than good. Birth is a natural process, you need not do your bit to deliver the baby except catching them and placing them on the mother’s chest.
Once you are sure the duo are doing fine, don’t forget to take a selfie with the new mother and the baby—after all, you just helped deliver the little angel.