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Having Babies

After an event we as will still continue to have babies. It is a natural instinct and almost everyone will want to participate, some more willingly than others. Even if you are not interested in repopulating the species babies are going to be expected. (sic)

Initially, though there will be some pregnant women at various stages of pregnancy who will survive the event. These people will need to be looked after as they are our future. Women who can have children will be coveted after an event even if they are not always going to be treated such.

Human nature means that even though we may not be in the position to consider children now, when our children grow up or the social restrains are removed it won’t be long before any family with girls in a certain range will start to fall pregnant.

Contraception may be something we try and put aside but eventually we will run out of pills, condoms and the other standard techniques and be down to blind luck and,*cough*, self control. There are other contraceptive techniques available but that is another article. One written by someone else.

So, we need to consider what we need to do for our pregnant women.

One option of course is to do nothing. This is a viable option as far as pregnancies go and is a technique used all over the world but we must remember that this gives us a very high infant and mother mortality rate, even discounting the human lives lost it is a tremendous waste of resources to carry a child for 9 months and lose one or both of them.

The issue is that we will not have the capability of maintaining the high survival rate we have now. We have professionals who specialise in delivering babies, with specialist gear to handle most of the issues we can expect during pregnancy and childbirth. We will have difficulty with premature babies or even any issues that happen during childbirth like an umbilical cord wrapped around a babies neck.

The best we can do is prepare for the basics of childbirth. Looking after the mother to be and keeping her clean and warm. There will be no anaesthetic, but there isn’t in most places now, so it will truly be back to a natural childbirth.

Best reading up on these things now, There isn’t all that much equipment you need. The main components are knowledge and a cutting tool. Everything else is a bonus which may not be available at the time such as hot clean water, warm clothes, sanitary pads and a bed.

Ideally you would have a room set up with the following in;

  • Warm clothes for Mum.
  • Warm blanket for baby.
  • Ties for the cord (2)
  • Scissors.
  • Towels (a lot)
  • Sanitary Towels (The thickest you have)
  • Knickers (The bigger the better)
  • Plastic sheets to protect bedding.
  • Bucket for disposable waste.
  • Plastic bags. One for washable waste the other for disposal.
  • Container for placenta.

Don’t forget that after the baby comes the placenta. In the olden days the placenta was eaten by the mother but that has fallen by the wayside, although some still do it, however that may make a comeback after an event.

Childbirth is one of thoe many areas that anyone can do, if it goes smoothly, when it goes wrong it usually is life and death. It is worth noting the contradiction though that planned home births are less risky that hospital births. You won’t get to practise either. It is either a childbirth or not.

7 comments to Having Babies

  • Kenneth Eames

    SD, A good article. There are Text Books available, try searching in second-hand bookshops as they are normally available cheaper than from Publishers. If there is a midwife on the site, will you please write several articles giving members advice please. Kenneth Eames.

  • midnitemo

    I know it’s what comes naturally and us human’s don’t need much of an excuse to get jiggy jiggy but i will be making it my personal crusade that the ladies shouldn’t be getting pregnant in the short term…what a nightmare it would be having infants in the equation in the early stages of an event…i’ll be preaching abstinance condom’s and the withdrawl method in that order of preference til things settle right down.

    • bigpaul

      in the early stages of TSHTF you can forget all about “jiggy-jiggy”, we’ll all be too busy keeping our heads down and trying to stay alive for that! besides who’s keeping guard???

  • midnitemo

    Just picked up on the line about homebirths being less risky…the reason is the risk is managed by the midwives, if you have anything medical that falls outside the accepted safe parameters used for home birth’s then you don’t get to have one…my two youngest were born at home and my wife was in fantastic health.

  • Lanky Yankee

    I’ve assisted with many deliveries in hospital and had to catch 7 babies in the field. Of those 7 I’ve delivered I was bricking it every time. I’m not an expert by any means because our training is minimal at best but there are a couple things I’ve learned from midwives that I can pass on:

    Start by watching the mother and how often the contractions are happening. If you pay attention you will notice a change in the mother just before the baby starts to come out. This is when you get ready.(midwives can do internal exams and know when it’s all going to happen, but I highly discourage this)

    When you first start to see hair (crowning), place your hand on the top of the head and apply gentle pressure. This will slow the baby a little bit from coming out, but thats OK. you want to prevent tearing and the faster the baby comes out, the worse the tear.

    Once the babies head clears there is usually a pause before the body comes out. At this point carefully run your fingers around the neck and check for the cord. If you feel the cord around the neck, try and unwrap it by gentle pulling it over the babies head. The next push should get the rest of the baby out. Sometimes the baby gets stuck (shoulder disocia) which is another topic all together.

    Once the baby comes out you should immediatly place it on the mothers stomach. this starts the bonding process and will keep the baby warm. Check to see if the baby is breathing and if you have a stethoscope listen to it’s heartbeat and count. Heart rate should be about 140. If the baby isn’t breathing then get a towel and vigorously rub it’s body. Usually this will stimulate it enough to start breathing, but you may need to give it 5 rescue breaths. Be mindful to not breath too much air and pop it’s lungs (again another topic to be written).

    After baby is out and breathing (yes looking purple or dark pink is normal) 10-30 minutes the placenta should deliver. The woman will go through contractions all over again. You should not tie off/cut the cord until it stops pulsating (at least 10 min). Two ties approx 5 cm away from the baby (I go longer than the midwives)then cut the cord in between the ties. It’s very tough when cutting and may spray blood. If the placenta hasn’t delivered within 40 minutes then get the mother to start breast feeding. This will release hormones to stimulate delivery and help to get the uterus to contract.

    After placenta delivers the mother may still be bleeding (they have a larger blood supply to accomidate this, you may need to massage their lower stomach to encourage their uterus to contract. Push your fingertips in quite deep and go in circles. It won’t feel good to the mother, but may be needed for a couple minutes. Then you can go in and check the mother for tearing. Again this is not pleasant for the mother but may need to be done.

    This is a quick and dirty explination of how to deliver a baby. Please any midwives add or correct this post as your the experts and I’m a jack of all trades.

    • Grumpy Grandpa

      Thanks SD for raising the issue and thanks also LY for your expansion on it. I have to say that I don’t have any particular fixation on the subject (although my main purpose in prepping is for my two granddaughters!) but I do have to confess that one of the first books I downloaded after coming across prepping was one on Emergency Childbirth from the US Department of Defence! God forbid that I’ll ever need it (and woe betide any lad responsible!) but if there’s ever a need and there’s no one else to turn to…

  • fred

    Goodness, you’re right into this midwifery, Skean. Not planning anything, are you?

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