September is National Preparedness Month guys! With hurricane Harvey causing damages exceeding 100 billion, and Irma on her way presumably to cause similar damage and destruction, now is the perfect time to talk about planning for birth in the event of a natural disaster. After all, there isn’t much as unpredictable as birth in comparison, except for the weather.
Being prepared with an emergency birth kit should always be part of your birth plan!
You may be thinking “I’m not on the radar for the hurricanes” or “I don’t really need to plan for something like this”. It’s not just hurricanes we are talking about. There are so many natural disasters that can affect us in Pennsylvania. We DO get tornadoes. We DO get terrible wind and rains and power outages from hurricanes and storms. We also have some of the worst snow storms around. Snow? Yes, snow is a natural disaster at times!
A perfect example - my Aunt. Years ago, in January 1996 she was pregnant with my cousin, anxiously awaiting his arrival. As many of you I’m sure can remember, we got slammed with snow and repeated snow drifts that year. When she spontaneously went into labor her excitement was brief. It quickly turned into panic when my Uncle was not able to get their car out of the snow. They were stuck and stranded in their home not able to get her to the hospital to deliver their baby. They finally knew they had a problem and called 911 and an ambulance was sent.
Fortunately, the ambulance arrived in time and could get her to the hospital to deliver. My Aunt was lucky but she could just have easily ended up in a bad situation. Many women give birth every day in cars on their way to the hospital, or end up having unassisted births at home which were not part of their plan at all.
Even if you’ve planned a home birth, there are always situations where labor starts and progresses too fast before the midwife can arrive. With an emergency birth kit on hand, you’ll be able to tend to the immediate basic needs until help arrives.
Having an emergency birth kit as part of your birth plan is ALWAYS a good idea.
Hopefully you will never have to use your emergency birth kit during your pregnancy. However, if something should happen, you’ll be prepared. After you deliver your baby you can always donate your emergency birth kit to a charitable organization, or pass it along to an expectant friend.
You can find more information for preparedness for Expectant and New Parents here.