UNASSISTED BIRTH

  WE ARE THE ONLY SPECIES OF MAMMAL 
  TO DOUBT OUR ABILITY TO GIVE BIRTH. 
- INA MAY GASKIN 

Azure Rigney, QLD MCA President & Alice Giltrow, Toowoomba based Midwife of The Awakened Midwife discuss how to birth unassisted. Notes summarised below.

Reach out to Alice HERE

UNPLANNED UNASSISTED BIRTH PREP

Regardless of where you are planning to birth, preparing yourself to freebirth can make all the difference in your birth experience.

The very nature of birth shows that we cannot be 100% certain when and where we will birth our babies.

This is why educating yourself on freebirth, will bring a confidence around birth that you can use in any setting.

Our bodies have the innate wisdom on how to birth, our job is to set the right conditions to birth in.  Below you will find some simple tips on how best to look after yourself and baby, should you end up birthing unassisted.

DISCLAIMER: This does not constitute individual medical advice. MCA are providing basic information to women given planned, unplanned and Birth-Before-Arrivals are increasing. Our members have approached us requesting this information due to covid restrictions, hospital guidelines, risking out of their preferred care provider choice, flood, inability to afford PPM and genuinely wanting to freebirth.

1.

Stay calm- this allows your body to produce oxytocin that helps your uterus to contract and the body to increase endorphins which is our body's natural pain relief.

When you feel fearful your body produces adrenaline and this can interfere with those good hormones we want to be present in high amounts.

2.

Stay warm- have a blanket ready for after birth. Lots of skin to skin with baby. This helps regulate their temperature, breathing, blood sugars and heartbeat.  It also helps keep you calm.

3.

Stay hydrated and empty your bladder - Remember to regularly empty your bladder.  A drink high in electrolytes can help your body's cells absorb the water rather than just drinking and excreting it back out in your urine. You may like to use a peri-bottle of warm water to encourage your body to release your urine.

4.

Stay close to the ground and use something soft underneath you if you're concerned about dropping baby. A towel or two in the bottom of the shower or a pillow underneath you on the floor can make a nice soft landing.  Slowly bring baby up to your chest just in case the umbilical cord is short.

If the cord is around baby's neck, this is very common, just calmly untangle the cord.

5.

Baby's colouring. If baby is white or grey and floppy, rub baby's back and feet vigorously.  Talk to them. Blow on their face. If you see any mucous or gunk in their nose, put your mouth over their nose and suck it out.

It may take a couple of minutes for baby to come around and cry.

6.

Don't clamp and cut the umbilical cord prematurely (unless the cord snaps). Allow baby's blood to go back through to them as 1/3 of their blood is still in the cord at birth.

You can leave the placenta attached to baby if you have nothing to clamp and cut.

7.

Your placenta may come out shortly after birth or it may take hours to come out.  If you're not bleeding, are calm and warm, you can just relax and wait for the placenta to come when it's ready. 

Having baby feed at the breast can help bring on contractions to help birth the placenta

ARTICLES

What to do when the baby is born before you get to the hospital

15 March 2018 - The Conversation

How to handle accidental homebirth : Advice from a dad who's been there

5 November 2020 - Evidence Based Mommy

How to have an Unassisted Homebirth

November 2020 - Unassisted Homebirth Australia

Five Reasons to Prepare for an Unassisted Birth

February 2022 - Birth Map Life

POSSIBLE OBSTACLES

FLOPPY UNRESPONSIVE BABY

If baby is floppy you may need to perform CPR.

Place them on any firm surface - bed, floor or even mum's chest.

Perform baby CPR. Video below.

Call Ambulance. They will give you further instruction

POSTPARTUM HEMORRHAGE 

If your placenta is still inside - 

Try to keep calm, lay down, keep warm, skin to skin and put baby to the breast to feed or you can express if that's not possible.

If cord has stopped pulsing, clamp and cut the cord.

Cut a couple cms of the cord off and put inside your cheek.

If placenta is out - 

Use a small chunk of the placenta and put in your mouth.

These contain high levels of hormones that help your uterus contract down.

If bleeding is excessive, call 000

IMPORTANT CONTACTS

EMERGENCY NUMBERS

Ambulance 000

 Always call 000 if the situation is life threatening 

Westpac Helicopter Service 1800 155 155

SES (State Emergency Service) 132 500

Birth Cartographer Instagram Post
Birth Cartographer Instagram Post

Five Reasons to Prepare for Unassisted Birth

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Birth Cartographer Instagram Post
Birth Cartographer Instagram Post

Knowledge is Power

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Birth Cartographer Instagram Post
Birth Cartographer Instagram Post

The Carry-Over Effect

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Birth Cartographer Instagram Post
Birth Cartographer Instagram Post

Five Reasons to Prepare for Unassisted Birth

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Check out Birth Map Life HERE

"Reassurance and moral support are actually the major contribution of the attendant in most cases.
In over 95% of the cases of emergency childbirth, the emergency attendant will be overwhelmed with gratitude an widely praised as a hero or heroine, and he or she can smile at the knowledge that their simple tasks could have been performed by any bright 8year old."

- Gregory White M.D
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IMPORTANT CONTACTS

EMERGENCY NUMBERS

Ambulance 000

 Always call 000 if the situation is life threatening 

Westpac Helicopter Service 1800 155 155

SES (State Emergency Service) 132 500