Emergency childbirth

Birth may be imminent if a woman starts having contractions at intervals of less than two minutes. The mother should be assisted to a bed protected by plastic or newspapers and covered with clean towels. Everything should be scrupulously clean (including your hands) and you should have to hand: blankets or towels, swabs or towels, sanitary towels and scissors and three pieces of cloth tape that have been sterilized in boiling water.

The mother should be asked to empty her bladder (although not in a toilet because the birth may happen suddenly). When the mother is lying down remove all clothing from the waist down and ask her to let her knees fall apart. Encourage her to push during contractions and relax inbetween. If she has a bowel movement, as often occurs, clear it away, taking care not to soil the birth canal. In the first stage of labour the amnion sac ruptures, producing a flood of clear water. During the second stage do not attempt to pull the baby out; first support the head and then gently lift it under the armpits towards the mother’s abdomen as the shoulders appear. Once the baby is born hold it so that any fluid can drain from the nose and mouth. If breathing does not start immediately, give artificial respiration. After the placenta has been delivered, tie the tape around the umbilical cord six and eight inches away from the baby’s navel. Cut the cord inbetween the tapes and use the third piece to tie the cord four inches from the navel. Finally, wash the mother and place a sanitary towel in position. Should any complications occur at any stage, do not interfere but call for immediate medical assistance.

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