Whether you are an expectant father or an unsuspecting taxi driver, the time may come when you are called upon to help deliver a baby with no medical professional in sight.
Birth is totally natural; most of what you need to do is help the mother relax and let her body do the work.
The following instructions will help ensure that everything goes smoothly until help arrives.
First, call for help if possible. That way, even if you have to deliver the baby yourself, help will arrive soon if you experience complications.
Clean your hands and arms well with soap and water. If soap and water is not available, whatever you can do, try to get your hands as clean as possible to prevent giving the mother or baby an infection.
Find and prepare a birthing area. Have the mother remove her lower clothing. Let her do whatever feels comfortable—lie down, walk around, or sit in a chair—until she feels a very strong need to push.
Try to make sure the area is as clean as possible. Have several clean towels, sheets, or blankets on hand. If you can’t get them you can use newspapers.
Guide the mother in pushing. The area around the vagina will bulge out until you start to see the top of the baby’s head at which point you should encourage the mother to push the baby out gently.
Support the baby’s head as it emerges. If the cord is wrapped around the neck, gently lift the cord over the baby’s head or loosen it carefully so the baby can slip through the loop created by the cord. Make sure to never pull the head, as this can cause nerve damage.
If the head comes out and the rest of the body doesn’t come out after she pushes three times, have the mother lie on her back, put two pillows under her bottom, instruct her to grab her knees at her chest, and have her push hard with each contraction.
As soon as the baby is born, place the baby on the mother’s abdomen, preferably directly on her skin and cover them both with a blanket, or several towels.
If baby is not crying stimulate her by rubbing her back or the bottom of her feet vigorously. This usually helps a baby to expel mucous, cough and start crying. Remember, crying is good!
Prepare for the placenta. It will arrive anywhere between a few minutes to a half hour after the baby is delivered.
When the placenta is on its way, don’t pull the cord. Let it come out on its own or aided by mom’s expulsive efforts. Cut the umbilical cord only if necessary. It’s advised that you leave the umbilical cord alone, just making sure that it’s not pulled tight.
If you do need to cut the cord, tie a lace around the cord tightly about three inches from the baby; tie another lace tightly about two inches further away from the first lace and cut, using a knife or scissors that have been boiled in water for 20 minutes.
Get medical attention as quickly as possible. Once delivery is complete, proceed to the nearest hospital or await the ambulance you called.