Welcome to the May 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Emergency Preparedness
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared their plans to keep their families safe. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
When you are having a homebirth or attempting to birth unassisted, things need to be in place to ensure a safe birthing experience. It’s important to be prepared, not expecting that anything will happen, but more to make sure you know what needs to be done if the unexpected does happen. It’s also important that your birth partner knows as well — as he or she will be the one who has to act quickly on yours and the baby’s behalf.
I think of birth the way I think of life. It’s so beautiful and works so perfectly in most situations. Unfortunately in life, sometimes people get sick, and unfortunately in birth, sometimes things don’t go quite as planned. Like life, as in birth, often times these things cannot be predicted. During your pregnancy, it is so important to keep a positive frame of mind. It’s important to visualize your birth as a beautiful experience. However, I think it’s important to be well educated — especially when birthing unassisted.
The first step is to educate yourself about the three or four things that actually constitute a real birthing emergency. You do that by reading … reading … reading … and more reading. It’s the first step in arming yourself.
Here are a few “real” emergencies I can think of. Just as a note, most of these are not unique to unassisted childbirth (UC) or homebirth. They can very well happen in the hospital or while on your way to the hospital. If you are at home, you need to make sure you are prepared to deal with any situation.
- Cord prolapse
- Excessive postpartum bleeding
- Baby not breathing
This is when the cord exits your vagina before the baby does. There is a higher incidence of this when there is a pre-rupture of membranes while your baby is still floating. If the cord prolapses and becomes pinched, it cuts off blood flow and oxygen to your baby.
What to do: Have your partner push the cord back in (I have seen stories of women waiting for ambulances upside down) and call 911. This is a situation where you would need immediate help. Call 911 immediately. The midwife can be contacted later.
There is a lot that can be done pre-labor to significantly reduce the likelihood of this occurring.
- Start your pregnancy tea/red raspberry leaf at 18 weeks until the time of delivery.
- Take alfalfa pills and liquid chlorophyll starting at 32 weeks.
- Prepare the ingredients to mix placenta smoothies. Put them in the freezer so they are ready (this is good to have postpartum in general).
- Have Shepherd’s Purse on hand.
- Educate yourself on the benefits of consuming your own placenta, if necessary, to significantly slow bleeding and reduce the risk of shock.
Baby Not Breathing
- An infant CPR course is a necessity. This is important for any expectant parent.
- Lots of skin-to-skin contact while rubbing the baby’s back.
- Perform CPR.
- Look into the possibilities and directions of administering arnica and carbo veg.
Good prenatal health
Here are some things that any expectant mother should do in order to help prevent emergency situations:
- Eat a healthy diet for you and the baby. A healthy baby grows from the inside out.
- Remain active. Continue to exercise during pregnancy.
- Drink tons of water.
- Good prenatal care — whether you do it yourself (unassisted pregnancy) or go to a midwife or doctor.
Extra birthing supplies
Here are some things UCers and homebirthers need to have on hand (in addition to the regular homebirth supplies):
- All records from prenatals in case of transfer. That would include blood pressure measurements (even if you went to CVS to get them, they should all be written down), urinalysis, blood tests, and a positive pregnancy test. Duh, you would think medical professionals would know that you were pregnant since you are now pushing a baby out — but whatever. They can give you problems, so just have it on hand.
- Blood-pressure cuff for the birth (UC-specific)
- Fetoscope or doppler (UC-specific)
- Antimonium tartaricum for wet lung (baby) — I had this problem. I wanted it to be over, so I pushed him out too fast. It doesn’t give time for the water to be pushed out of the lungs. A surefire way to avoid this problem is to push slowly once the head is birthed.
- Pulsitilla for malpresentation
This is not a scare post. I have had three beautiful home births. You don’t want to go into your birth scared about what’s going to go wrong. It’s about being prepared and educated so that you and your partner can have a safe and beautiful birth.
Best of luck!
Homeopathic info from www.sagemama.net
About the Author:
Lisa is a three-time homebirther. You will most often find her homeschooling her children, blogging about different ways of strengthening the family unit, and hand dyeing and sewing wool and bamboo pants for babies. You can connect with Lisa at www.squishablebaby.com.
Photo Credits: Author
Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products and/or information are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, are nursing, have a medical condition, or are taking any medication, please consult your physician. Nothing you read here should be relied upon to determine dietary changes, a medical diagnosis, or courses of treatment. NPN does not recommend or endorse any particular method of birthing and advises readers to do their own research and make decisions in partnership with their healthcare provider.
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be updated by afternoon May 14 with all the carnival links.)
- Be Prepared for Emergencies — Becky at Crafty Garden Mama is reviewing Angela England’s new ebook, The Untrained Housewife’s Guide to Getting Prepared. See what measures she is learning to adopt in her family.
- Prepare to Expect a Safe and Beautiful Natural Birth — What do you need to have prepared so that you can have a nice and relaxing birth at home? Lisa at The Squishable Baby shares her list in a guest post at Natural Parents Network.
- Fire Boxes for Emergency Preparedness — Jana of Jananas tells why she bought a fire box to store important documents and what is stored in the box.
- Firefighter Training Homeschool Curriculum — Kellie at Our Mindful Life helped her homeschooled kids prepare for emergencies through a Firefighter Training unit.
- 3 Secrets to a Royal Emergency — Jaye Anne at Wide Awake, Half Asleep tells the secret to living like kings during a storm-induced power outage.
- Is Your Family Prepared for an Emergency? — Chrystal at Happy Mothering shares an overview of what her family has done to become more prepared for emergencies.
- What to Do in an Earthquake — Julia at A Little Bit of All of It gives instructions for staying safe in the event of an earthquake as well as tips for teaching your children to keep safe and where to find information online after an earthquake.
- Spring Cleaning & Preparing, Part 2 — Justine at The Lone Home Ranger organizes and replenishes her emergency supply every spring and is learning to add to the food stockpile by preserving year-round.
- 15 Must-Haves For The Natural Minded Family When Disaster or Emergency Strikes — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares how she prepares for disaster or an emergency as a natural minded mama. Learn what 15 natural items you should consider having on hand!
- Emergency Preparedness: Cosleeping, Cheezits, Chocolate — Kristine at All the Things in the World was happy to have cosleeping in her emergency tool kit during Hurricane Sandy.
- Being Prepared For Personal Disasters — Luschka at Diary of a First Child draws on her own recent experiences and considers five things every parent should have in place to ease the burden when sudden disaster strikes.
- The Natural Emergency Kit That I Always Carry in My Diaper Bag — Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares the four green and natural items in her emergency kit that she can’t do without when she’s out and about with her little ones.
- Prepared… or not? — Is it dangerous to not prepare? Jorje of Momma Jorje shares whether her family prepares…or not.
- Pack a car safety kit: 25 must-have items for emergencies — Whether you’re out for a leisurely drive or fleeing a disaster, Lauren at Hobo Mama offers tips on stocking your car with emergency supplies that will tide you over if you’re stranded.
- Teaching My Children About Tornados — Destany at They Are All of Me writes about preparing her children for tornado season.
- Preparing our children for emergencies — Preparing for emergencies means preparing your children, and Robbie at Going Green Mama shares ways on how to empower kids when it comes to emergencies.
- Emergency Preparedness in Sub-Saharan Africa — After living in Sub-Saharan Africa for 7 years, emergency preparedness is not just a concept any more to Laura from Authentic Parenting.
- Five Ideas to Keep Babies and Toddlers Safe from Choking — Do you have a baby or toddler who likes to put everything (and I mean *everything*) in her mouth? Dionna at Code Name: Mama does, and today she’s sharing a story and some tips on how to keep your little ones safe from choking.