Author Topic: childbirth and newborn care in SHTF  (Read 12261 times)

Offline Morning Sunshine

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childbirth and newborn care in SHTF
« on: March 20, 2009, 06:58:11 PM »
This is on my mind right now, seeing as my youngest is a bare 11 days old.  I noticed that a lot of women here are older and no longer having babies (as they introduced themselves on the Intro Thread), but I am curious what advice they would have for this.
I do give birth naturally, which is a big plus in a SHTF scenario, but I still go in for medically trained help who has all the equipment for things that could go wrong.  Should I just have a "childbirth kit" in my preps?  Not that I am planning to do this again for a few years, AT LEAST, but I am thinking about this now.
I am a forward planner in most things, but I did not bother to get diapers for my newborn until just a week or so before birth.  I kept thinking, "oh, I have time to get that" or "I can send dh to get it if I need it."
Obviously planning to breastfeed is a big part - nothing to store that way for the baby, but I have heard someone say to store formula anyway, in case something happened to you (mom) and someone else had to care for the baby.

Offline Darkwinter

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Re: childbirth and newborn care in SHTF
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2009, 07:12:16 PM »
formula is very expensive, and some babies do better with one brand over another.  i wouldn't store formula UNLESS my child was on formula.  I have a six month old and we have enough formula to last him until he can go on solids.  If you are worried and you want to store some formula for free you can sign up at enfamil and similac to rec free samples.  They won't last long, as the samples are relatively small, but it is a way to store some formula to make you feel better without buying any unnecessarily.  And if you baby doesn't go on formula you can donate it to a church if it is unopened.  Also at the hospital always tell them you might try formula even if you are only going to breastfeed.  They will send you home with some free samples.

Diapers, wipes, creams, and all the other stuff that goes with babies is always good to have extra, you can NEVER have too much of that stuff.  We have a few cloth diapers as well.  we don't use them for anything but burp cloths now, but if we needed to we could go back to the old ways and give up the pampers.

 One nice thing about prepping for an infant is everyone always  carries a 72 hr kit.  A diaper bag is very easy to convert into a 72 hour bag just by adding a littel powdered formula (and if you do breastfeed, it is even easier).  The only things we added were Baby Tylenol, Baby origel, and Milk of magnesia

Offline TexSquirrel

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Re: childbirth and newborn care in SHTF
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2009, 12:47:32 PM »
Download for free: "Where Womern Have No Doctor."
You can download the entire book.
They also have a Midwives handbook.
I think it is worth having if childbirth is in your future.
If you don't want to print it you can buy the book.

Temporarily:

NederlandseEekhoorn]

Offline eph2

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Re: childbirth and newborn care in SHTF
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2009, 03:38:39 PM »
This is on my mind right now, seeing as my youngest is a bare 11 days old.  I noticed that a lot of women here are older and no longer having babies (as they introduced themselves on the Intro Thread), but I am curious what advice they would have for this.
I do give birth naturally, which is a big plus in a SHTF scenario, but I still go in for medically trained help who has all the equipment for things that could go wrong.  Should I just have a "childbirth kit" in my preps?  Not that I am planning to do this again for a few years, AT LEAST, but I am thinking about this now.
I am a forward planner in most things, but I did not bother to get diapers for my newborn until just a week or so before birth.  I kept thinking, "oh, I have time to get that" or "I can send dh to get it if I need it."
Obviously planning to breastfeed is a big part - nothing to store that way for the baby, but I have heard someone say to store formula anyway, in case something happened to you (mom) and someone else had to care for the baby.

I think it's great for all of us to remember that babies will be born whether or not we will be having them ourselves.  You never know who you might take in or who might become pregnant in your group.  Some birthing and basic baby supplies would be good to have on hand regardless.

Offline archer

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Re: childbirth and newborn care in SHTF
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2009, 05:10:57 PM »
a littel powdered formula (and if you do breastfeed, it is even easier).  The only things we added were Baby Tylenol, Baby origel, and Milk of magnesia
I'd add some Mylicon gas drops at least. I remember going out at night to get some too many times.

Offline mrs gator

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Re: childbirth and newborn care in SHTF
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2009, 05:46:24 AM »
I'd add some Mylicon gas drops at least. I remember going out at night to get some too many times.

I would also throw some ipecac in there because you never know  :-\

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Re: childbirth and newborn care in SHTF
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2009, 06:43:17 PM »
I am a grandmother and have a new grandson but even before we knew he was on the way we had baby creams, handiwipes, teething tablets, etc.  Now that he is here I plan on adding cloth diapers and rubber pants.  Even if my grandkids dont need them someone will or they can be used for other things.  Baby lotion is great for any age and especially if you have sensitivity skin.

Offline homesteader

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Re: childbirth and newborn care in SHTF
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2009, 12:31:05 AM »
Hello!
I have a toddler as well as a older child as well and have done things a lot different than the first time around.  The first time around it was formula, disposables, packages of wipes etc.  This time around (with a lot of influence from a frugal mother of many) I bought enough washable all-in-one diapers to last a couple of days in between washes, washcloths (I make a easy wipe solution of baby body wash and water and keep it in a closed container and keep the washcloths dry in a stack and just use what I need.  They go in the wash along with the diapers-easy peasy), breastfeeding, and hand-me-downs from the older child.  I haven't bought diapers for over a year now and baby will be in this size diaper for another year (this has saved me $1200/year in diapers.).  A breastpump would be a good thing to have, then you can have milk stored up for an emergency.

Ask around about midwives in your area, there are sure to be some that will do home births.  Even if you want to have your baby at a hospital it would be good to have contacts in case the hospitals are the last place you should be (ie: flu epidemic or whatever).

A book I found that has been a great help is "The Nursing Mother's Herbal" by Sheila Humphrey, BSc, RN, IBCLC.  It has been a tremendous tool for finding out what herbs are safe while breastfeeding.

I hope this helps,
homesteader

Offline summer98

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Re: childbirth and newborn care in SHTF
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2009, 01:10:21 PM »
One thing I would like to point out is that most mother/child deaths in the pre-modern era (and still in some areas) were due to lack of simply hygiene. If we can keep that knowledge and some basic midwifery skills, the death rate should be cut way down.  Of corse, someone who can perform a C-section would almost always ensure that at least one of the pair makes it.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: childbirth and newborn care in SHTF
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2009, 05:22:11 PM »
googled "Walk-about" to try to find your novel... but had no luck, summer98.

My kids are past the diaper stage, and all the cloth diapers I had for them were nearly disintegrated from being used as household cleaning cloths... but as I began stocking up in the past year, I purchased three dozen cloth diapers and have them stored. They are a great all-purpose supply to have on hand.

My thought was, that even if I don't need them as diapers, someone (who didn't prepare as well) might, or I might just want them for more cleaning cloths. Doesn't hurt to have them on hand.

One other thing to consider... I had a real problem with lack of milk supply when I tried to breast-feed my boys. With the second, I found that certain herbal tinctures that I bought from a local lactation specialist really helped a lot. It wouldn't hurt to get information about that if you are still in your child-bearing years. You never know...

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Re: childbirth and newborn care in SHTF
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2009, 09:39:36 PM »
All great ideas!  We've looked ahead a few months, too.  We have stored up a few buckets of oats and brown rice (in Mylar with absorbers).  Using a grain mill, you can grind these up and add them to water for babies first solid foods.  It contains a lot of what they'll need and they should still be able to eat whatever veggies and fruits you're eating - buy a hand mill!  You can find them in the baby isle in Wal-Mart or K-Mart.

The porridge is easy to make!  My 3 year old still eats it and in four months we'll start our 2 month old on it.  Grind up 1/4 c. brown rice or oats as finely as you can (don't start them off with wheat).  Add this to one cup of boiling water and stir it up!  It will look like commercial baby cereal when it's done.  It will make somewhere around 2-1/2 servings.  You can use millet (3 Tbsp ground to one cup of boiling water); barley and whole grain oats (1/4 c. to one cup boiling water).  I like to grind up a months worth in a blender and store it in the fridge.

As they get older and start to eat more, around 8 to 9 months, started mixing the grains together (i.e. 1/4 brown rice and 3 Tbsp millet to 2 c. boiling water).  And when they're 9 to 10 months you can add legumes without much tummy trouble.  Just grind up 1/3 c. dry whole grains (millet, oatmeal, brown rice, etc.), 2 Tbsp dried legumes (lentils, split peas, pinto's, mung, etc...) and add to 2 c. boiling water!  It refridgerates for 2-3 days.  I add whatever veggies or fruit we eat into it as well.  All this is easy to store, great on the baby's system and super healthy for them!  (FYI - my son like brown rice and lentils mixed with nearly any veggie.)

Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: childbirth and newborn care in SHTF
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2009, 10:24:57 PM »
Thank you for the thread ladies.  My wife has a more than passing interest in midwifery but she cant practice it on herself.  I have had a recurring nightmare about complicated SHTF childbirth situations since I read Heinlein's novel "Farnham's Freehold". 

Thanks for the book references, looks like I have reading to do.

For my wife I suppose it may also be a good SHTF skill set to cultivate since she is interested.

Offline ebonearth

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Re: childbirth and newborn care in SHTF
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2009, 03:34:23 AM »
Standard EMT training in most states does cover childbirth and newborn CPR. That would go a long way to getting people better prepared. As for the question of whether to pack a childbirth kit, in my opinion, everyone should have one packed, even if you are untrained. The prospect of having everything packed in that kit, right and ready when a baby decides its going to make that grand entrance, coupled with nerves and the rush of the experience could overwhelm even practiced folks.

I also recommend, if you are not familiar, with watching some documentaries of births outside of the hospital setting, along with some instructional videos, perhaps start here.

Offline TxMom

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Re: childbirth and newborn care in SHTF
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2009, 11:27:53 PM »
On the diapers, much has changed since my kids had them.   

Watching my daughter-in-law, I'd suggest using a couple of things she uses.

She has a sling type wrap where she can wear her baby with hands free to do other things.   Keep them close and safe.

Another thing she does is use cloth diapers.  These are like the ones with diaper pins etc.   She uses these bungee cord like clips and instead of rubber pants she crochets her own diaper covers out of wool.   As the baby grows, she makes larger ones.  I wasn't sure how these would work, but found them to be much better than rubber pants anyday.  Kind of bulky.   She cuts up old T-shirts for her wipes and puts them in a container with homemade solution.   I've even seen her make diapers out of certain kinds of old clothers.   Recycling old stuff for baby needs along with things she buys.

Short term emergency I'd prefer disposables, may not have a easy way to wash.   Long term, you would run out.   I'd go with the sling wrap and cloth diapers, etc.   

Offline homesteader

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Re: childbirth and newborn care in SHTF
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2009, 12:03:09 PM »
I have a sling wrap and it works really well.  I can still carry my almost 2 yr old in it on my back if I want.  They would be very easy to make with a long piece of knit material (maybe 3yrds worth?) and there are instructional videos online to show you all different ways to position baby or small child in it.

You can also buy the waterproof fabric online for the diaper covers-just make sure it is poly PUL fabric not cotton PUL fabric.  The cotton delaminates.

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Re: childbirth and newborn care in SHTF
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2009, 11:27:35 AM »
You'll need up to 7 yards if you want a wrap that you can do a front carry in with infants.  I made mine and that's what I used.

I made a chunk of my baby's diapers, so I have stored patterns (Free off the internet) and 5-8 yards of all the materials I use. This way I know that even in the worst case scenario, I have the means to make the next size larger diaper.

Of course, I don't really need an excuse to stockpile fabric and patterns, but this stockpile is a little larger than most of my other fabric stashes.  ;D ::)  It's good quality stuff, so I know if I don't use it all up in diapers, it can be made into hundreds of other things. Momma pads, storage bags, pajamas, etc.

Speaking of, cloth Momma pads are in my BOB. Highly recommend them. I sew my own, you can find free patterns online. Safer than disposables, cleaner, easy to care for and they come in all the sizes you could need, from massive post-partum pads to slim little liners. Plus, a month's supply is easier to pack than the 2 dozen+ disposables you'd need.

I totally agree about the basic herbs for women. A small store of herbs such as Rasberry leaf, nettle leaf, alfalfa, fenugreek seeds, etc. will help ensure a healthy pregnant or lactating woman. They are easily made into teas, light to store and worth their weight in gold IMO.   ;D

As far as books to read to prepare for birthing sans hospital, I recommend Ina May Gaskin. She's been helping women birth naturally for decades and she's a great author, easy to read.

Offline swoods

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Re: childbirth and newborn care in SHTF
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2009, 11:31:10 AM »
I would also throw some ipecac in there because you never know  :-\

Dr's no longer support using ipecac. The theory is that throwing up may cause more damage depending on what was ingested. Don't know if there is an alternative or not.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: childbirth and newborn care in SHTF
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2009, 11:41:26 AM »
You'll need up to 7 yards if you want a wrap that you can do a front carry in with infants.  I made mine and that's what I used.

I made a chunk of my baby's diapers, so I have stored patterns (Free off the internet) and 5-8 yards of all the materials I use. This way I know that even in the worst case scenario, I have the means to make the next size larger diaper.

Of course, I don't really need an excuse to stockpile fabric and patterns, but this stockpile is a little larger than most of my other fabric stashes.  ;D ::)  It's good quality stuff, so I know if I don't use it all up in diapers, it can be made into hundreds of other things. Momma pads, storage bags, pajamas, etc.

Speaking of, cloth Momma pads are in my BOB. Highly recommend them. I sew my own, you can find free patterns online. Safer than disposables, cleaner, easy to care for and they come in all the sizes you could need, from massive post-partum pads to slim little liners. Plus, a month's supply is easier to pack than the 2 dozen+ disposables you'd need.

I totally agree about the basic herbs for women. A small store of herbs such as Rasberry leaf, nettle leaf, alfalfa, fenugreek seeds, etc. will help ensure a healthy pregnant or lactating woman. They are easily made into teas, light to store and worth their weight in gold IMO.   ;D

As far as books to read to prepare for birthing sans hospital, I recommend Ina May Gaskin. She's been helping women birth naturally for decades and she's a great author, easy to read.

Thanks for all the info! Can you give us more information about the herbs? I'm glad to hear that I wasn't mistaken about my memory of fenugreek being part of the lactation tincture I used to buy...

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Re: childbirth and newborn care in SHTF
« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2009, 09:22:36 AM »
Quote
A small store of herbs such as Rasberry leaf, nettle leaf, alfalfa, fenugreek seeds, etc. will help ensure a healthy pregnant or lactating woman.

Ok, raspberry leaf, is excellent for toning the uterus muscles. Be careful with it during pregnancy as it can start contractions.  It can aid fertility, promote a plentiful supply of breastmilk, help stop excess bleeding after birth and regulate irregular menstrual cycle and decreases heavy periods.

Nettle leaf is a galactagogue and is also rich in folic acid and iron and calcium, great for breastfeeding.

Alfalfa is nutrient rich with easily absorbed forms of nutrients like vitamin K if I remember correctly. A traditional sort of multivitamin. :-)

Fenugreek seeds are another galactagogue, they have to be boiled for awhile, unlike the loose leaves listed above which can just be steeped.  They have myriad other uses, having been in common usage since at least the Roman empire.


Hmmm I didn't mention mint or stevia, but those are both nice for taste of teas and calming nausea.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: childbirth and newborn care in SHTF
« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2009, 02:42:50 PM »
Thanks so much!

Offline mskoyote

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Re: childbirth and newborn care in SHTF
« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2010, 08:09:00 PM »
I do give birth naturally, which is a big plus in a SHTF scenario, but I still go in for medically trained help who has all the equipment for things that could go wrong.  Should I just have a "childbirth kit" in my preps?  Not that I am planning to do this again for a few years, AT LEAST, but I am thinking about this now.
I am a forward planner in most things, but I did not bother to get diapers for my newborn until just a week or so before birth.  I kept thinking, "oh, I have time to get that" or "I can send dh to get it if I need it."
Obviously planning to breastfeed is a big part - nothing to store that way for the baby, but I have heard someone say to store formula anyway, in case something happened to you (mom) and someone else had to care for the baby.
It seems to me that an awful lot of emergency preparedness for babies is not so much about having stuff as having knowledge. A lot of what is truly needed can be made easily from things that are likely to be on hand, such as a length of cloth.

I'll preface this by saying that none of this should be taken as medical advice, and most of what I'm saying has nothing to do with any formal training I've had.

Childbirth:
I agree with the person who said to know the midwives in your area. In addition to that, know the doulas (especially the experienced ones). Doulas are trained and experienced in labor support, and while they generally aren't trained in the way midwives are, they do have experience with birth, and will be a valuable resource if no one else is available.

I second the infant CPR class suggestion, especially for the father, older (teenage) siblings, or other responsible person who is likely to be present - it's not necessarily realistic to expect a mom who has just given birth to perform CPR.

If you are stuck in a situation where you have to give birth without any sort of trained and/or experienced helper, know that chances are you and the baby will be ok. Birth obviously has dangers to both mother and baby, but the historical maternal death rate is high for a number of reasons which are unlikely to be an issue in the short term in a SHTF scenario - for example, childhood rickets causing hip malformations, having large numbers of pregnancies due to lack of birth control options, and inadequate knowledge of sanitary measures (wash your hands well with soap and clean water before touching the baby or sensitive areas of the mother, should it be necessary). A reasonable portion of "lifesaving" interventions done in the hospital are either not necessary (erring on the side of caution), or the problem itself was caused by a previous intervention (inducing labor increases the risk of many problems, or something as simple as being stuck in bed and not being allowed to move around into the position your body needs).

For the birth itself, the important things to remember are that the woman needs to have total freedom of movement, and feel as safe (emotionally and physically) as possible. The father or other person attending should be support, and know how to recognize and deal with complications to the greatest extent possible, but not be "in charge". The woman's body knows what to do. This is basically what training given to EMTs, police, and others who may end up unexpectedly attending births outside the hospital - reassure the mother, keep your hands off, and let it happen like it's supposed to.

Emergency Childbirth by Gregory White is a good resource for recognizing and dealing with potential complications, and is probably a good thing to have for a survival library or for anyone pregnant who doesn't live close to a hospital. A midwifery handbook is also good addition.

To answer the original question, they do make homebirth kits. http://www.everythingbirth.com/Home-Birth-Kits-PEA0060.html is one example. I think it would probably be overkill to have one on hand if you're planning a hospital birth, but it wouldn't hurt to look at to see what type of things you'd need, many of which make sense to include in a standard survival first aid kit. And they aren't particularly expensive if you do think it would be useful.

Diapers: Cloth diapers are a good option for frugal everyday living, and good for a long-term survival scenario. They're not a great plan for a short-term emergency where access to washing facilities may be inadequate (learned that one from personal experience!). It's probably a good idea to have a 72h-1month supply of disposable diapers of the appropriate size on hand. Remember that these can have other uses, too - they can be used as absorbent dressings for first aid, or as a pad for a woman having her period. Likewise, disposable wipes have multiple uses.

They're probably a bit of a pain for everyday use, but flatfold cloth diapers strike me as ideal for a survival situation. Since they're just a big single-layer square of fabric, they're easy to make out of available materials, easy to wash and dry, and one adjustable size. Effective water-resistant covers can be knitted out of wool or made out of felted wool sweaters, or you can just have a lot of them and change when they get soiled. http://fernandfaerie.com/frugaldiapering.html has instructions on both of these, as well as other diapers easily made from available materials.

From a sanitation and sanity perspective, an important thing is to get kids out of diapers as soon as is reasonably possible. Kids in the US potty train exceptionally late these days. This is mostly backlash against harsh Victorian potty-training practices, and really has no physiological or psychological necessity. Read about Elimination Communication (http://www.freewebs.com/freetoec/ is a good source of info), which can be used to reduce the reliance on diapers for even very young babies, which is useful either for long-term survival or in a short term emergency when diapers are limited or unavailable.

Feeding: Even for an exclusively breastfeeding baby, A 72h-2week supply of formula is probably a good idea in case the mother and baby are separated short-term. For longer term, look for another breastfeeding mother who is willing to help out, and look at options for homemade formula if commercial isn't available, which aren't generally nutritionally ideal, but certainly better than nothing!

If you're expecting a new baby... have a good breastfeeding resource book, and know local women who would be a good source of info and support about breastfeeding (La Leche League is a good source). Remember that, while there are women who truly can't produce enough milk, there's a large number who currently choose to formula feed who could probably manage breastfeeding if it were a life or death situation for their baby. Having information about relactation is probably a good idea too, especially for mothers who formula-feed.

For the first year (or even longer), solid foods are mainly an experiment and not a necessary source of nutrition, and it won't hurt (and may help) the child to wait on solid foods should good starter foods not be readily available or safely prepared.

In a long-term survival situation where resources are limited, keep breastfeeding as long as is reasonably possible, as the child will continue to receive immunological and nutritional benefit for the duration of the breastfeeding. That means way past what is widely considered socially acceptable in the US - at least 3 or 4 years. In an emergency, older children who are already weaned can be given breastmilk for nutrition if another good option isn't available.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women will need more calories than women who aren't sustaining another life, and this should be taken into account when planning food supplies.

Carriers: A good, comfortable carrier for a child who can't yet walk long distances effectively seems to me to be potentially lifesaving, as well as just plain helpful. One-shoulder slings are good for small babies, and can be easily made out of a length of material such as a bedsheet. For a larger kid, you'll probably want something that distributes the weight better across the torso and both shoulders. You can make a wrap carrier out of 6-8 yards of material that can be used in a number of ways. Mei Tai carriers require more skill and sewing, but are a good sturdy option. http://www.wearyourbaby.org/ info about all of these under "Make A Carrier", as well as info on how to use them.

Birth Control: Adequate birth control may not be available if SHTF, and this can be essential for maintaining health of the mother and existing children, especially when resources are limited. Read Taking Charge of your Fertility, Garden of Fertility, or take a course that teaches the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM), then practice it and learn how your body works. This is not the same as the Rhythm Method, where one attempts to avoid pregnancy by avoiding sex during the midpoint of your cycle based either on the "standard" 28 day cycle (obviously totally unreliable for many women) or the length of previous cycles (still not particularly reliable, especially in times of stress). FAM focuses on recognizing the body's fertility signals and using them to avoid sex during the woman's fertile time. While FAM focuses heavily on basal body temperature, and this is probably the most reliable indicator, other signs that don't require any special instrument or circumstances seem to me to be more likely to be helpful in a survival scenario.

Offline Farmer Eric

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Re: childbirth and newborn care in SHTF
« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2010, 01:48:16 AM »
I have to agree with everything mskoyote posted. This is exactly what my wife and I do. We do this even without being in a SHTF scenario.

We do unassisted childbirth and elimination communication (no diapers. YES, even with a new born).

I would like to add a quick note about unassisted home birth that you would probably read in the books that she pointed out.

Please don't be tempted to cut the cord early or pull the placenta out by the cord. Its hard because the hospitals and tv shows all do this, so it kinda programs us to think we need to do it too.

We don't cut the cord until all the cord blood has drained out into the child's system. This can take an hour or longer(about 2 hours for my kids). This blood belongs to the baby and it is a life support system that allows the baby to have MORE time for its respiratory system to kick in. I believe this also prevents jaundice.  Also, let the woman birth the placenta naturally. This can take an hour or longer(about 2 1/2 hours for my wife). If you pull on the cord to remove the placenta, it can could cause severe bleeding when the placenta is ripped from the sides of the uterus.

I would give mskoyete a +1 karma, but I don't have those capabilities yet. You are awesome. I was very tempted to post this info and I did a search first to see if anyone has covered it from our point of view. We definitely see eye to eye on every detail. Thanks for your work.


Offline mangyhyena

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Re: childbirth and newborn care in SHTF
« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2010, 11:35:50 AM »
Confession time.

I'm pretty good under pressure.  If there's an accident I can assist with basic first aid without passing out or getting sick, even when there's a lot of blood or the injuries are severe.  I'm CPR certified and wouldn't freak out if I had to use it.  If I have to fight, I can and will do so effectively.  If I have to use a firearm in an extreme situation, I know I can.  I don't fall apart until after the situation is completely over with.  In the moment I'm pretty effective and clear headed.  I've had occasions to experience a few of these things, so this is something I know about myself.

Not saying I'm Superman or anywhere near the best out there, but you get the point.

YET---when my children were born I didn't so much as look down.  I was with my wife the whole time, but I maintained eye contact with her as if my life depended on it.  When the doctor offered to let me cut the umbilical cord, I told her ABSOLUTELY NOT!  You don't even want to know what responses ran through my mind when she asked.  If I had to assist with a birth I believe I would pass right out.  Worthless and weak, that would describe me to a T when it comes to childbirth.  I'd rather have a firefight outgunned ten to one, fight an angry mob armed with pitchforks, or go toe to toe with a mountain lion.  LOL.  I honestly don't know how some husbands manage to be of actual use when their wives are giving birth.  Me, all I could do was encourage her and do that breathing thing with her, you know, made up busy work for husbands so they can feel like they're helping.  Those three births were the top three times in my life when I felt absolutely useless and not in control of anything.

Being in a position where I had to help with a birth during a shtf or teotwawki would scare the ever-loving crap out of me.  But I need to learn what to do so I can at least direct someone stronger than myself who can handle it without passing out.  Is there any other thing I can do that's useful in that situation?  Guess it's time to hit the books.  I'm sifting through the posted links.  Any advice, besides manning up?  Manning up for this ain't gonna happen, folks.  I know my limits.

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: childbirth and newborn care in SHTF
« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2010, 11:41:40 AM »
Being in a position where I had to help with a birth during a shtf or teotwawki would scare the ever-loving crap out of me.  But I need to learn what to do so I can at least direct someone stronger than myself who can handle it without passing out.  Is there any other thing I can do that's useful in that situation?  Guess it's time to hit the books.  I'm sifting through the posted links.  Any advice, besides manning up?  Manning up for this ain't gonna happen, folks.  I know my limits.


boil water  :D   I don't know why, but that is what they always have the husbands do in movies and books....  maybe it is like the breathing "make work"

Offline Dainty

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Re: childbirth and newborn care in SHTF
« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2010, 07:04:43 AM »
About the feeding, I think a very valuable skill post-SHTF would be induced lactation, not for yourself of course since you would be the primary source, but for other women around you to supplement your supply in case something happened to you or in case you had trouble with the quantity of milk produced. I even read somewhere that in some culture it was common for a female family member to induce lactation before the birth of the baby in case the mother's milk did not come in right away.

Nowadays the main info you can find on it is from expectant adopting mothers hoping to breastfeed. The milk is found to have the same composition as naturally occurring breastmilk has after the 10th day. Generally the milk is not as plentiful as it would be for a pregnancy, unless you go the route of using hormones to trick your body into thinking it has delivered a baby. What I can really see is one or two other women in the group inducing lactation (without hormones or anything like that) and then supplementing the mother's supply, not only as insurance but also for convenience and to help the mother get sufficient rest.

I still see the wisdom in having formula on hand, and I know not all women would be willing and able to induce lactation, but I think it's worth keeping in mind as a possible plan B.

Pertaining to ipecac, if I'm not mistaken the main treatment for poisoning is activated carbon. There are very few poisonings contraindicated for it, and it's so safe that I've read EMS administers it on scene if poisoning is even merely suspected. It adsorbs the toxin while in the stomach, keeping it from being absorbed by the body, and then simply passes through. Homemade charcoal works in a pinch, but from what I've read you need to take three times as much as you would have to take of activated carbon. Also the powder is difficult to administer/take quickly in an emergency; a premixed solution or capsules is not an extraneous luxury. The powder is very fine and it's quite difficult to "eat" it without inhaling it, which could cause other problems. I personally made my own chewable "tablets" of activated carbon by mixing it with a little honey until it was a stiff consistency and then shaped it into little balls and keep it in the refrigerator. It wouldn't work for portable kits, but it's real quick to access if anything happens at home. I encourage everyone with small children to always have activated carbon on hand that can be readily administered.

Finally, with regards to diapers, I would suggest looking into Elimination Communication as a potential possibility. It's about being so in tune with your baby's cues that you learn when they need to go, while simultaneously cuing the baby every time they go so that they learn to go on cue and otherwise hold it at a remarkably young age. It greatly minimizes (almost eliminates) the need for diapers and also removes the problem of potty training.Not everyone prefers this route, which is understandable, but again just something to keep in mind and/or look into as a possibility for making SHTF scenario a little more manageable.