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How to Deliver a Baby: Steps for an Emergency Delivery


How to Deliver a Baby: Steps for an Emergency Delivery

As you progress through your pregnancy and inch closer to actual childbirth, you may find yourself feeling anxious, excited, and even panicky. It is perfectly normal for your nerves to kick in regardless of whether this is your first pregnancy or if you are a well-seasoned pro. Many women find themselves making things worse with all sorts of “what if” scenarios racing through their heads. It can be difficult to clear your mind of these hypothetical events and now is not the time to stress yourself out.

take a deep breath.

One of the top worries women have is concerning the possibility of not making it to the hospital on time once labor hits. Though there is typically plenty of warning and statistically only happens in one percent of births, this fear is one of those that really hangs in there because it is a perfectly feasible incident that could totally happen. So, how do you put your mind at ease? The best way to squash that fear is to be prepared in case it does happen by learning how to deliver a baby in an emergency.

How to Deliver a Baby

Prep an emergency bag

Having your hospital bag ready to go well in advance is a good idea. It can be easily grabbed or already packed into your vehicle so it is ready for the trip to the hospital. Having an emergency bag packed in addition to your hospital bag can come in handy if your baby decides not to wait and becomes part of that one percent statistic. Here is a rundown of what to include in your emergency bag:

  • Phone charger – Just in case your phone is low on power, your phone charger can give you a way to ensure you have a way to contact necessary parties such as your OB, 911 to help talk you through the delivery, or to give the hospital a heads up.
  • A tarp and clean sheets – In the event you can tell you are not going to make it, you may have a few minutes to prepare. A tarp or shower curtain layered under some clean sheets can easily turn an area into a clean and comfortable delivery space.
  • Gloves and sanitizer – Clean hands are an important step in knowing how to deliver a baby. So having some latex-free disposable gloves on hand as well as some hand sanitizer for anyone who will come in contact with the new baby is a must.
  • Clean and dry towels – Once the baby has been born, clean towels can be used to clean him off. They also come in handy for any other cleanup so, pack several.
  • Bulb syringe – This is an important item that can help clear the baby’s airway if needed.
  • Sterilized shoelaces and scissors  – To be used for cutting the umbilical cord.
  • Cotton balls and rubbing alcohol – These items are useful for cleaning off the umbilical cord once it is cut. It can also be used to clean the scissors before using them to cut.
  • Garbage bags – One for the placenta and one for cleaning up the used towels and other items.
  • Items for mom – An icepack, sanitary pads, and pain medication
  • Items for baby – Baby blanket, baby hat, a few diapers.

11 Steps You Need to Know

  1. Keep Calm – I know, that is going to be easier said than done especially since this is likely going to be the first time you get to use your how to deliver a baby knowledge but the more level-headed you and your partner can remain- the easier it will be for you to remember these how to deliver a baby steps and smoothly navigate through the process.
  2. Stop Driving! If you are not going to make it, you are not going to make it. You are already going to be full of nervous adrenaline and at this point, the safety of everyone, including that baby-to-be, is the most important aspect to consider. So, the first real step in how to deliver a baby is to pull over, grab your emergency bag, and take a few deep breaths.
  3. Make Contact – Give 911 a call so that an ambulance can get en route to your location. The operator may stay on the line with you to help talk you through the delivery. They can also be a great source of support and can give you more specific instructions that are geared more towards your specific situation.
  4. Prepare the Area – Use the tarp or shower curtain as a protective layer under the bed sheets you brought in your emergency bag. Have mom slide onto the sheet so she is more comfortable. Keep your clean towels, scissors, laces, and other supplies nearby.
  5. Prepare Yourself – If you are the one helping with the delivery, clean your hands using the sanitizer and slip on some gloves. Then get into a position where you will be able to catch the baby. When learning how to deliver a baby, be advised, babies are slippery!
  6. Show Time – The mother will begin contracting and you will know the baby is coming when you see it begin to crown. There will likely be a big push to get its head out followed by a pause before the next contraction gets the rest of its body out. You are there to give the baby a safe and comforting set of hands to be delivered into. Do not pull to help deliver the baby. If you notice the umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby’s neck, allow the baby to be delivered before unwrapping it. Most babies will actually deliver fine right through the loop of the cord.
  7. Once the Baby has Arrived – The best action immediately after birth is to place the baby skin-to-skin on the mother’s chest. This first intimate contact with your baby helps him relax, helps regulate his body temperature, stabilizes his heart rate, and regulates his breathing. With the baby on mom’s chest, cover them both with a soft towel to begin to clean the baby. Then replace it with the warm baby blanket you packed in your how to deliver a baby emergency kit.
  8. Cutting the Cord – If help is on the way you do not have to cut the cord. Your best bet is to wait and allow the EMTs to take care of the umbilical cord. However, if some situation calls for it to be cut, use your sterilized laces or string to tie the cord in two spots- three inches from the baby’s tummy and the second about two inches farther from that one. Then cut between the two strings.
  9. Silent Baby – If your baby is not crying right from the start, do not panic. Let the 911 operator know and stay on the line with them. While you wait for the ambulance to arrive, you can use your how to deliver a baby knowledge and remember that you can encourage the baby’s breathing by briskly cleaning the baby. Use your bulb syringe to clean the baby’s nose and throat out.
  10. After Baby – Once the baby is delivered, you will see a large gush of blood. This is normal and is actually more amniotic fluid than anything. Next, the placenta will be delivered approximately 5 to 30 minutes after. The ambulance will likely have arrived and they can help cut the baby’s cord.
  11. Take a Breath – Congratulations, you did it! You have successfully used your how to deliver a baby knowledge and should be heading off to the hospital where mom and baby can be checked out.


Pregnancy is a beautiful experience. As you approach delivery time you can experience all sorts of anxiety related to worrisome thoughts like making it to the hospital on time. Being prepared and knowing how to deliver a baby is a great way to put your mind at ease even if you never need to use what you’ve learned. If there comes a time where your knowledge of how to deliver a baby comes in handy, you will at least have a great story to tell.

2 thoughts on “How to Deliver a Baby: Steps for an Emergency Delivery”

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