Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Applying First To Childbirth

By Owen Jones

Pregnant women are told to prepare for their big day as they are nearing their time by having an 'over night bag' ready so that they can just pick it up and head for the hospital when the baby starts to arrive.

This is naturally decent advice, nobody wants to be running around at the last moment looking for that other red bed sock.

However, the baby is unaware of these plans and occasionally it ruins them by coming early. Hence the number of babies born on buses and in taxis. This is not actually such a big difficulty if you live in a city or a stone's throw from a hospital, but what about if you live on a remote farm or simply miles from anywhere?

This is when it is wise to have had another form of First Aid training - one on First Aid and childbirth.

It is helpful to know what to do in the case of a childbirth, because you never know when it might be only the two of you - you and the pregnant baby and a third due any moment.

Most men would panic, most women would not. I think that that is fairly obvious, so why don't more people take a course in how to help?

A course in First Aid and childbirth would be practical for expectant fathers, that much is obvious, but it would also be helpful for taxi drivers, bus drivers and anyone who may find him or herself alone with arbitrary members of the public in a professional capacity..

This first thing to do is stay calm, but this normally depends on having some knowledge or training to fall back on. Endeavour to bear in mind that billions of people have been born throughout history in precisely the same way and that mother and baby will do what comes naturally, although this is not to say that you should not get to the hospital if you can.

When the deadline has passed and you know that you are not going to make it to the hospital in time, call the emergency services. That is a big weight off both your minds, because you both know that help is on its way.

Next, make the woman comfortable and then wash your hands if you can, soak them in alcohol from your First Aid kit or wipe them with any antiseptic tissue.

You will require something clean to wrap the baby in, because they are normally fairly slippery, so have something on hand for this job. A bowl of warm or lukewarm water is useful for Mum to wash herself a bit with and a cool, damp handkerchief to dab her forehead with are both useful.

There is a lot more to know if you want to be able to help if there are problems, but you would be far better off learning that from a midwife or a nurse than from me in this short piece.

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