How To: Deliver a Baby in an Emergency Situation

Deliver a Baby in an Emergency Situation

The miracle of life is a beautiful thing, in theory. Delivering a baby in person is a messy and intense experience. If you ever find yourself needing to help with an emergency delivery keep your wits and these tips in mind.

Step 1: Put Down Some Sheets

Put down some sheets, towels, clothing, or even an unread newspaper — anything you can find that's clean.

Step 2: Position the Mom-to-Be

If you have assistance and she's comfortable with it, help the mom-to-be stand with her knees slightly bent; that way, gravity will be on your side. Otherwise, have her lie on her back, then prop up her back with something soft.

Step 3: Wash Up

Scrub your hands, as well as your arms up to your elbows, with hand sanitizer or soap and warm water.

Step 4: Encourage Mom to Breathe

Remind the mom-to-be to take deep breaths and to push.

Step 5: Instruct Mom to Stop Pushing

Once the baby's head emerges, tell the mother to stop pushing.

Step 6: Support the Baby's Head

Gently cradle the baby's head, then prepare to catch! After the shoulders slip out one at a time, the rest of the body will quickly follow.

Step 7: Leave the Cord Alone

Leave the cord-cutting to a medical professional.

Make sure you leave enough space between the ties and your cut so that the knots remain secure. Otherwise the baby could bleed to death.

Step 8: Get the Baby Breathing

Clear the baby's air passages by gently stroking downward on its nose and mouth. If the baby doesn't seem to be breathing, gently slap the bottom of its feet. If that doesn't work, blow a few gentle breaths into the baby's mouth.

Step 9: Wrap the Baby

Wrap the baby in something clean and soft to keep it warm.

Step 10: Encourage Mom to Breast-Feed

Encourage the new mom to breast-feed immediately; this will help her body expel the placenta and stop her bleeding.

Step 11: Get Mom and Baby to Hospital

Now get mom and baby to the hospital, or call 911.

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