Thursday, March 22, 2012

Special Delivery: Pregnancy and Birth When TSHTF

You may recall that I announced I am pregnant- yay! I am 19 weeks and have gained 12 pounds. As I drink this soda I realize how much my baby likes high fructose corn syrup.

I bought a book that I had seen recommended on a few prepper websites as a good resource to have in your "survival library." It's called Heart and Hands, Fifth Edition: A Midwife's Guide to Pregnancy and Birth and I really enjoyed it. It has 216 pages of information divided into these sections:
  1. prenatal care
  2. problems in pregnancy; physical and psychological
  3. assisting at births
  4. complications in labor
  5. postpartum care
The remaining 70-odd pages are for the midwife- starting a practice, materials lists, legal info, resources, etc.

It lists herbs, essential oils and other homeopathic tools to care for the mother and baby. They are sporadically placed throughout the book as they apply to the topic at hand. The photos are numerous (although somewhat dated- 80's?) and the sketches are very useful- the sketches are used at just the right times to best portray whatever information- for instance, an intact placenta (both sides) and determining station (where the baby has descended to).

The book is technical and uses medical terminology and assumes a degree of familiarity with pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Although it is confident and reassuring it does not in any way detract from the abilities of modern obstetrics to "save the day" when necessary. It tackles breech birth, hemorrhage, dystocia and other difficult situations as being able to manage- but always recommends "transfer" when the patient's care needs more modern technological interventions. In a SHTF situation that may not be an option.

Another thing I noticed a few days after I read the book, as I contemplated writing this review, was my own life experiences coloring of my perception of the book. Although I bought it because other preppers thought it was a valuable resource (both men, actually) I wondered how my own knowledge may have made the book easier to understand, or if my own attitude toward birth made the topic more (mentally) manageable. I wanted to be a midwife for about 10 years, from 16-26, read a hundred books about pregnancy, labor, delivery, pain coping techniques, midwifery, and modern obstetrics. I love the human body, fetal development, pregnancy and delivery. I have four kids of my own- four pregnancies and deliveries, surprisingly different from each other. So possibly this book may be more technical than I realize. It did make me realize how years of delivering babies makes midwives realize how each woman, each labor, is different, and how the mindset of the mother (and the birth space) affects labor, how serious of a venture it is to help usher a new life into the world.

At Cascade Home Birth Supplies there is a very affordable ($49) kit with more than enough for one birth. They also sell a set of blank patient charts for only $2.50. If you deliver a baby and there has been meconium in the amniotic fluid, you would want a DeLee suction catheter to help get any fluid out, and they are less than $20. If you have had children, love birth, have nursing (RN) experience, expect to deliver babies, or want to be prepared for someone who could, you should consider creating a birth kit for post SHTF use.

We're so pleased you are reading Farming Salt & Light! Choose how you live!

1 comment:

Rose said...

Great thoughts about prenatal care and delivery for pregnant and postpartum women. I have a recipe for baby formula that may come in handy if tshtf and I have friends with babies. Also, you can sterilize bottles and nipples in your pressure canner, along with first aid equipment.