There is a small chance that the little one inside the womb might want to escape the uterus before the due date, if it happens, are you prepared? It might be unlikely and rare to happen to you, but it is never wrong to know how to deliver a baby in an emergency.
If you are worried that you might go in to labor too early before you reach the hospital, although the chances are slim, here’s what you and your partner need to know. When you have too many if’s in your mind – ‘What if I go into labor too soon’, ‘what if I can’t make it to the hospital?’ – follow the instructions in case of emergency delivery at home.
What To Do?
1. Assess The Situation
How would you know if the baby is coming too soon before you reach the hospital? You need to assess the situation and not panic. If you have contractions which are strong and occur three to four minutes apart, water has broken, and you have a strong urge to push, your delivery is imminent. First babies take longer time than the subsequent ones.
2. Call 911
Although this sounds very obvious, in all the excitement when the baby is coming out, you might forget to call 911. It is very important to call them and keep your doctor informed. As they are trained on how to talk to people about the basic steps of a home birth, it is good to call and put them on speaker. Keep your house door unlocked so the EMTs can enter inside easily.
3. Stay Calm And Relaxed
It might be frightening when you get in to an unplanned emergency delivery. But remain focused and stay calm. It is good not to panic as you might end up doing things wrong and mess up when you are alarmed. Do not worry about baby getting stuck or come feet down first. Understand that the babies who come faster are in an ideal head down position and ready to come out. Make yourself as comfortable as possible.
4. Do Not Push, Resist The Urge
As it is an emergency situation, do not bear down. It is good to resist the urge to push and wait till the help arrives. Panting might help as it keeps you from holding the breath due to internal pressure. If you see your baby’s head crowning, do not pull him out but place your hands as best as possible. Push only during contractions and if you get to see the umbilical cord around the baby’s neck – hook a finger under it and slowly loosen it. Then slowly ease it over his head.
5. Baby Is Out, Now What?
Your beautiful little baby is out, now what to do? As soon as the baby is out, wrap him with a towel and bring him onto your belly or chest. Keep the skin-to-skin contact, stay warm and calm. To stimulate breathing and drain the amniotic fluid from the baby’s nostrils and eyes, wipe gently. Rub the side of the back and the rib cage, keeping the baby’s head lower than feet until your baby starts breathing.
When you are sure about your baby’s breath, gently guide him to your nipple to start breastfeeding. This will release oxytocin in your body which helps the uterus contract and expel the placenta out. Some strong contractions can be expected even after you deliver the baby.
6. Do Not Cut The Umbilical Cord
It is difficult to cut the cord in a sterile way. Infection to the baby is possible if you try to cut. About 30% of your baby’s blood is still in the placenta, which could give the baby about 5 minutes of oxygen – lifesaving – in case the EMTs have still not reached. Leave the cord aside and keep the placenta level above the baby, till help arrives.
It is just simple to remember that when in doubt, do nothing but stay focused.