Emergency Childbirth

If you find yourself having to perform emergency childbirth, don’t panic. Women were giving birth thousands of years before hospitals existed. Midwives have been delivering babies for centuries. You can do it too!

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If the baby’s on the way and you’re the one elected to deliver it, REMAIN CALM. Reassure the mother that everything will be okay.

The mother should lie on a flat, comfortable surface. She should lie on her back with her knees bent, feet flat, and legs spread as wide as possible. If available, place something soft under the mother like towels, blankets, coats, or even your own clothing.

Instruct the mother to NOT PUSH. She should never close her knees together to slow down the process. It may complicate the birth and/or cause harm to the baby.

Time the contractions. If they’re less than two minutes apart, the baby is on the way!

When it’s ready, the baby will appear on its own. The top of the baby’s head should appear first. If the baby appears feet first, the baby is BREECH. If the baby is breech, don’t try to turn it inside the mother. Only a doctor should attempt to do so!

Wash your hands with soap and water (if available) and put on the gloves from your first aid kit. If you don’t have your first aid kit, you should’ve paid more attention to our lesson on first aid kits.

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Never pull on the baby during delivery. Once the baby’s head is out, check to make sure the umbilical cord isn’t wrapped around its neck. if it is, ease the cord over the baby’s head.

Use a suction bulb to remove fluids from the baby’s nose and mouth. The suction bulb should also be in your first aid kit.

After the baby’s head is out, the next contraction (or two) should push out the shoulders. The rest of the body should then slip out.

Wipe the baby’s face with a clean towel.  Again, remove any fluids from the baby’s nose and mouth.  Place the baby in the mother’s arm. At this point it’s okay to cry happy tears because you just helped deliver a baby!

DO NOT CUT THE UMBILICAL CORD. If the placenta comes out, gently place it in a plastic bag or whatever you have available. Firmly massage the mother’s stomach to help the uterus contract and stop further bleeding. If the placenta hasn’t come out yet, the massaging might help to remove it.


We also offer a free certificate of completion. To receive the certificate you must pass a 50-question test with a score of 70 or higher. Check our Basic First Aid Certificate of Completion page for more information.


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