Wednesday, February 06, 2008

How to Deliver a Baby

Dr. Ruth, from Ethiopia, was kind enough to send me these instructions (see this post for details on why). She also says she has lots of faith in me.

A. Basically a birth is an biological event and not a medical one. It becomes medical when things go wrong.
Of course, this would be my CONCERN!!!
It might help to know that a couple of years ago, a comatose woman who was pregnant delivered her baby in coma without any problems. It is a reflex thing.
I'm so relieved. I'll be sure to let Jenn know.

B. When the head is down it pushes with the contractions of the uterus basically by it self in the right way. It will make a turn in the birthcanal but that happens normally also by it self. (you can help a little bit, by turning it with your hand, but basically it is not necessary).
Can you see me doing this?

It is handy though, to support the baby with your hand and let your hand follow the movement of the baby, so it doesn’t fall on the floor.
Handy, yes.

C. When it goes to fast in the end there is a risk of tearing, but you can help to put some fingers between the vagina and anal wall to give some extra pressure at the skin.
Is this with the hand that is not busy keeping the baby from falling on the floor?

D. Now, what is good to have with you, in case the child gets born in the car!
Some pair of gloves, some blankets to wrap the baby in, two pieces of wrope ( 15 cm long and clean) to tie the cord, clean scissors. (and tissues/pieces of cloth).
Okay, I don't remember ANYTHING in the previous instructions involving rope!

In case the baby is born you have to tie the cord, otherwise blood floes back.
Oh, yeah. Just in case this birthing process ends with a BIRTH.

First you tie the cord (wrap it, knot it, wrap it around it, knot it: three times) 1,5 finger width (1- 2 cm ) from the bellybutton. Really tight. Then you tie it around 2 fingers width from the first tie, also really tied. Then you can cut it, in between, so the baby is loose, but you can also wait for the ambulance. Wrap the baby in warm blankets and/or lay it next to the mother. And wait for the placenta to come.
The ambulance. Through the crowds of demons. Right. But, now I see what the rope is for. What do we do with the placenta when it comes?

(when the baby is not responding: rub it firmly, slap its buttocks and when there is saliva at the mouth remove it with the tissue, so the baby breaths better)
I guess that is better than ME screaming "the baby is not responding, get a doctor!!!"

E. Now in case when things go wrong: arms or legs first, shoulders stuck, lots of bleeding, big tear: you have to go to the hospital. But know that, and you do not want that of course, but sometimes mothers arrive here after two days with a prolonged delivery and the child and mother get out alive. You will probably be in the hospital before that.
Here is where my mind starts to go blank . . . .

F. And first babies usually take 8-14 hours.
Very good news. I can breathe again

Love you, Ruth


EdistoCam said...

I‘m fascinated by the birthing instructions – seriously. General awareness of and appreciation for the delicacy of birth can never be overplayed. Perhaps there should be Public Service Announcements (PSA’s) broadcast regularly that review these basic steps. Special training and instructional videos – DVD’s might be distributed to business, airports and in-flight personnel, truck drivers, police, cab drivers, clergymen, folks whose professional and even personal lifestyles take them on non-routine paths where they encounter different people all the time.
One might even carry certain birthing items in their car – obviously well packaged and sterilized – just in case of a roadside emergency.

Births in a car en-route to the hospital are not all that unusual. I often wonder about the statistics of taxicab deliveries. A little imagination can take it a step or two further – stuck in an apartment building elevator, premature arrival in an airplane – on a cruise ship – on a subway – in a theater – a restaurant, etc.

Also, ponder unusual births in a few other unusual but nevertheless realistic perspectives –

1. During the Blitz on London – or Allied bombing raids on Germany and Japan during WWII.

2. Baghdad in 2001, 2003 and even today.

3. Kenya – yesterday, today, and tomorrow…..

4. Pakistan – Afghanistan - Sudan and other horribly war torn 3rd World areas.

5. During a Tsunami, hurricane, flood or a tornado…

In so many instances, babies become instant victims of natural disaster or inhumanity, right at birth. And then what happens if there is a problem. As Dr. Ruth says – Births are biological events and only become medical when things go wrong. I salute all pregnant women, no matter who they are or where they are.

So make sure there’s plenty of hot water in the car on the way to Santiago.


Heidi Mehltretter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heidi Mehltretter said...

I will. Thinking of how to carry it now, in fact.

The couple across the street from us had their first baby on the front porch, waiting for a cab. He is blind, and was scared to death that the child would have the cord wrapped around his head and he would not see it. Thankfully, all went well.

Makes for an exciting story!

The Barr Family said...

Hey wait! Why did I spend so much time and money going to school to learn how to do that? if this is all you need to know then why did I become a Certified Nurse Midwife?

I loved the previous comment- because I often think of that...the babies born in the direct aftermath of katrina- that type of thing.

I do think she forgot to say if the cord is around the neck then you just have to gently unloop it from the babies head- before the baby is all the way out...of course that would be with your third hand that is not supporting the perinium and the other hand that is making sure the baby doesn't fall.