Prepare Every Needful Thing

"If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear"

Emergency and Disaster Response–December 2014

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Emergency Childbirth

footprints2-4 receiving blankets

2 towels

2 quart bowl or gallon-size zipper bag (for placenta)

Large plastic garbage bag or plastic tablecloth

Light-weight blanket (lay over garbage bag for mom to lie on)

Scissors (sterilized, to cut the cord)

Dental floss to tie off cord

Bulb syringe (to clear baby’s airway)


Juice boxes/coconut water for mom

4 large bed pads

2-4 sanitary pads

1 bottle alcohol

A newborn hat

Bach’s Rescue Remedy (optional, but great for shock)


Wash hands. Spread trash bag or tablecloth over area where birth will occur and top with blanket for mom’s comfort. You may spread a bed pad over the top of that if desired. Sterilize scissors by boiling or wiping down with alcohol.


Help mom to be calm and comfortable. Encourage side-lying, squatting or all-fours positions. Be patient and trust mom’s feelings and intuition. Catch baby with a blanket or towel (less slippery) and make sure baby has something soft to land on. Keep baby on or beside mom and cover both with a blanket to regulate body temperature. Encourage nursing as soon as baby’s ready—it is especially helpful to both mom and baby in this situation. When placenta is delivered (this may take up to an hour), place it in bowl or bag so it can be examined—a partially retained placenta can be life-threatening for mom. Tie cord with dental floss about 3” from baby and then tie a second time 3” further down cord. Cut with sterilized scissors between two ties.


Panic—birth is a natural, God-designed process and your calm confidence will help mom. Position mom on her back—her circulation, overall comfort and pushing effectiveness will be improved by the positions listed above. Pull on baby or cord to hasten delivery. Separate mom and baby after birth—both will be calmer and healthier. Cut the cord before it is necessary—the cord will just continue to get nourishment and oxygen to the baby for as long as it is pulsating, and so it is generally better to wait.

Get immediate medical assistance—and in the meantime:

Umbilical cord appears before baby—Position mom on all fours with hips higher than head and have her breathe deeply and evenly

Baby’s limb (especially an arm) presents first—same as above

More than about 2 cups of blood loss after birth—get mom to take 1 teaspoon cayenne in hot water, bleeding should stop within a minute

Baby is unresponsive—have mom hold baby skin-to-skin, rub back and talk, flick feet, pray.

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