Childbirth During a Disaster
Women’s Disaster Topics

During a natural or man-made disaster, women can face some unique challenges. In this blog series we will discuss some important topics and provide links to additional resources.

Topic: Childbirth During a Disaster

You’re stranded in your house with no power during a hurricane. Torrential rains and screaming winds, untold damage occurring all around you. It’s hard enough to imagine staying calm during such a situation – now try to imagine being 9 months pregnant and feeling the early signs of labor. What do you do?

Preparing for an unassisted childbirth can give you the confidence to stay calm and make good decisions if the worst happens and disaster forces you to give birth without any medical supplies or personnel.

 

Educate yourself and your family, so they know how to help you. Designate a space for the birth if you can – it will be messy and you can clean it up later. Have blankets, towels, water, and a knife or scissors. If you’re on a well and the power is out, you won’t have running water. Plan for that. Remember, the baby will come whether you’re prepared or not, whether you’re panicking or not. Wouldn’t it be better to be prepared and calm?

Here are some resources to learn more and help you prepare:

Signs of Labor: https://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/signs-of-labor.aspx

Breathing Techniques Patterned Breathing

Unassisted Birth Unassisted Birth

Giving Birth During Natural Disasters: Giving Birth During a Disaster

Free PDF: Emergency Childbirth, The Manuel: https://fas.org/irp/doddir/milmed/childbirth.pdf

Bonnie Gruenburg’s BEST (Birth Emergency Skills Training) website   Birth Emergency Skills Training

Building Your Emergency Kit: Build a Kit - ready.gov

Birth During Times of Disaster: Birth During Times of Disaster

Infant Feeding in Disasters: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/wichd/bf/ifdisasters.shtm