Delivering the Baby

It looks like I’M GOING TO HAVE TO DELIVER THE BABY…!

by  Joe Kita

Despite how intimidating this may seem, it’s really not so extreme. “Women have been doing it for hundreds of thousands of years all by themselves,” says Bryan Wood, MD. “All you’re really there for is to catch the baby.” So if it helps keep you calm, imagine yourself as Tim McCarver and your sweetheart as Steve Carlton, or yourself as Jerry Rice and your bride as a much more shapely Joe Montana. Then do the following….

Call 911: In case of a passed ball or other mishap, you want help to be on the way.

Secure some swaddling: A blanket, some towels, a T-shirt…you’ll need something to wrap the baby in and clean yourself up with afterward.

Fetch the baster: That’s the tube with the bulb on the end that’s used to baste the turkey at Thanksgiving. Now it’ll provide suction to clear the baby’s airways of giblets.

Heads up for the head: Once the top of the baby’s head starts to show, get ready. “Control the delivery speed by putting your hand on the head,” says Dr. Wood. Once the head is out use the baster to suction the nose and mouth.

Work the shoulders: Since this is the widest part of the baby (unless you’re having a mini Queen Latifah), this will take the most pushing on your wife’s part. Talk her through this while keeping one hand under the baby’s head and the other beneath the shoulders.

Don’t mind the blood: “Remember that a little blood looks like a lot of blood,” says Dr. Wood. “There’s no reason to panic. Bleeding is normal.”

Prepare for a fastball down the middle: Once the shoulders are out, the rest of junior is going to come fast. Catch him, note for an instant that he already has your good looks, then wrap him in the towel or blanket for warmth and give him to mom.

Tie off the umbilical cord: Remove a shoelace from your sneaker and use both ends to tie off the cord in two places, about an inch apart. This is important because it keeps the baby’s blood from flowing back to mom. If you don’t have anything to cut the cord with, don’t worry about it for now. If you do, then follow the instructions at (give link).

Get ready for more: No, she’s not having twins. Rather the placenta is coming next (usually up to 30 minutes after birth), and it’s just as important to deliver it fully. Coax it out just like you did the baby because undelivered placenta can cause infection. Once you have it, don’t dump it in the trash. It’ll need to be inspected by a doctor to be sure it’s all there.

Massage her belly: Do it gently with both hands in order to help the uterus recover and minimize bleeding.

Embellish to the paramedics: By this time, help should have arrived. By all means boast what an epic battle it was and note that you’re always on-call for other emergencies in the area.