What About Pregnancy and Childbirth During a Disaster?

How would you or a loved one deal with pregnancy during a disaster? What if that baby was ready to be born at such an inopportune moment? These questions were the topic of this week’s DestinySurvival Radio program.

By the way, it’s not just for the ladies. Guys, you’ll benefit from knowing about this, too. It’s an overlooked aspect of preparedness. What if you have to help deliver your child or grandchild in an emergency?


Jane Returns

Jane-Alexandra Krehbiel, also known as Jane of Virginia returned to DestinySurvival Radio. She’s been on a couple of times before, and she’s always informative. She’s a registered nurse and former college instructor in nursing and other medical-related topics. Though she’s not a midwife, she has attended many births during her career.

Jane has consulted on Topics of disaster preparedness for many years, particularly for the families of those with a variety of medical challenges. She’s also the author of Rational Preparedness and What I Learned from Daniel.

A word of caution–If you have children listening with you when you hear yesterday’s show, be advised that it gets graphic with various medically related descriptions. I’ll only touch on a few highlights in this post.


Before the Beginning

Practice birth control–That was the first thing Jane discussed. It takes a man and a woman to have a baby–not just a woman–and you’d better make birth control part of your prepping strategy. That’s especially true if birth control pills aren’t available. And what if you’re a woman who would be prone to medical issues related to pregnancy?

Should you have children at all?–I asked Jane about this near the end of our conversation. After all, we’re living in dangerous times. Economic collapse and political turmoil is making life difficult for us all, and it will likely only get worse.

Jane says to acknowledge that we’re living in tough times, but realize things change. While you may want to wait on having children for a while, realize we’ve been having children throughout history under all kinds of circumstances. And we’ve survived. What’s more, children are a blessing and a joy.


Pregnancy During a Disaster

A little advice for the mother–It’s important for the expecting mother to stay hydrated, eat properly, rest as needed, and stay calm. While that’s good advice for any of us, you can see how important it would be for a woman who’s pregnant. On the other hand, Jane says most pregnant women aren’t as fragile as we might think.

Keep the mother calm–Don’t be condescending. Be respectful. Own the situation you’re in. Give her something to do to be helpful and involved. Have a plan. Take things one step at a time.

Practice good hygiene–This is necessary because it helps avoid urinary tract infections. Jane recommends having a peri bottle for keeping clean. If a urinary infection develops, and there’s no way to get to a doctor, Jane recommends using a product called Cleartract. A Google search will turn up online sources for these items.


Emergency Childbirth

Have the right supplies–The first thing to do is to buy a disposable obstetrical kit. Search online for OB Kit. They range in price from roughly $10-$40. In fact, have a couple on hand. Jane says they come in handy for birthing animals on the farm, too.

A disclaimer–The information jane shared is not directions for home birth by choice. It’s for a birth that happens sooner than anticipated, when there’s little time to prepare as you normally would.

Practice privacy–One of the first things to do is send small children out of the room. Have someone else take charge of them if possible. The birth could frighten the children and cause extra stress for the mother who’s about to give birth. Keep pets out, too.

Prepare your patient–If you’re the one helping with the birth, stay calm and assure the mother things are under control.

Prepare the place where the mother will give birth–Jane gave tips on preparing the bed. Have lots of pillows available, too.

Be ready for the event–The best way I can summarize Jane’s recommendations is to take things one step at a time. I realize this is oversimplification, but attend to the mother and the baby as best as you can. It’s possible labor could go quickly and it will all be over before you know it. Then there’s the after care to deal with to be sure mother and baby are safe and healthy.


Find Out More

Get more details from listening to my conversation with Jane-Alexandra Krehbiel when you hear DestinySurvival Radio for October 24, 2013. (Right click to download.) And she highly recommends you print out what she says is the best guide on emergency childbirth. It’s from the American College of Nurse Midwives and is called Giving Birth “in Place”: A Guide to Emergency Preparedness for Childbirth, by Deanne Williams, CNM, MSN. Click on its title in this paragraph to view in a new window, or right click to download the PDF file for printing later.

Check out Jane’s blog on preparedness at http://www.rationalpreparedness.blogspot.com. Order her books from there, or help support DestinySurvival by clicking on their titles above.

Something to Think About–Have you ever delivered a baby in an emergency or unusual situation? Do you know someone who has? How did it go?


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.