“Amateur” Midwifery on the Frontier

by Endeavoring Mama

We all know that life outside of what we’re comfortable with is awkward when not prepared for. That being said, I believe everything that happens in our lives, respectively, for a reason. Call it somewhat of a ‘whatever doesn’t kill us’ mantra but I truly believe it! A few years ago, my husband and I fell out of life as we knew it. We both lost our very wonderful jobs and with them went our healthcare.

As a mother of two, and being pregnant at the time, I had some very important decisions ahead of me. Most of it was quite easy: switch to cloth diapers, go homeopathic for health concerns and eat at home a whole lot more. But, one remained a strange recurring topic in our home. Where to have this baby? It was then we found out about a small minority of American’s having their babies at home. Compared to a medical funded birth in a shared room, being treated in the same hospital as convicts (the county hospital option was out!) it sounded great!

Over the next few weeks we had decided a home birth was in order. But, how to go about preparing for such a thing and how much would it all cost? We quickly realized that a failure to plan is a plan for failure. We had practically nothing in savings and no idea how we were going to pay the four thousand dollar quote given to us by a local midwife.

The birth looming over our heads we knew we only had a couple of months to decide. It was then that one of the midwives we had called quietly mentioned having the baby at home without a midwife. At first I thought, “lady, you’re nuts” but, she pointed out the fact that I already had two children, pretty much had non-complicated births and based on the history I’d given her, sounded like I knew what I was doing. She even offered to walk us through things over the phone when I went into labor. We had much to think about.

Oddly enough, it was my husband that said… “aren’t we always trying to find new ways to be self-sufficient? How did people have babies in the ‘good ol’ days’?” I definitely had my thoughts cut out for me. It was then that I turned on the laptop and started researching everything I could! I read through emergency birthing books and midwifery textbooks, we rented movies on natural home childbirth and watched documentaries on an online movie database. I realized how much I didn’t know about giving birth, my own body and how dependent we humans are on the medical system. I decided to go for it.

The birth was quick, easy and repeated again a year later with our newest child. Thanks to the experience, we have sought out more books and knowledge on the subject. The way we figure it, babies will be born. In a true SHTF moment, there may be women already pregnant, birth control could be next to impossible for most non-preppers to acquire and even the most careful and devoted couple could be welcoming their new bundle of joy without the aid of “trained” doctors and fancy equipment.

So, while most people sit back and think “I’ll just go to a hospital;” I know me and the husband are prepared to birth anywhere and assist anyone else in the event of an emergency or true lack of “civilized” medicine. I urge everyone to grab an emergency birth book (or a few) because you never know who might end up on your doorstep saying “please help.” It’s always best to be prepared for anything, right? While most preppers are worried about the basic food, ammo, shelter, I’m a mom and I worry about my kids both the ones I have now and the ones I could have in the future.

On the topic of supplies, my list could probably go on and on, but if you happen to be waiting for a bus, stuck in an elevator or driving a taxi it’s great to be prepared. First, read up on the topic. Know your basic birthing positions and how to get around issues like cords being wrapped around a baby’s neck and keeping the mother (or the father) calm. Don’t forget your basic cord cutting tools and clamps (or knife and a clean shoelace) because the person needing you the most could be right around the corner.

To most civilians, the idea of birthing outside of a hospital is a SHTF moment, but with the right amount of knowledge and a keen, calm head on your shoulders it doesn’t have to be an emergency. I am very glad that I have such incredible knowledge now. Had we not lost our jobs then, we would have never known what the human spirit could pull off. Since then, the husband has a new job and every day he learns new things to apply to our life off the grid. The kit we purchased was some of our first preps and we didn’t even know we were preppers yet.

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  1. Thankfully, I have several cases of good hooch on hand for the future daddies in my family. I don’t smoke, so they better pack their own cigars in their BOB’s.

    Good post Vanessa – why prep if we don’t plan for the future through our kids and grandkids?

  2. My wife has been involved in the home birth community for nearly a decade and plans to become a midwife in the very near future. It’s unfortunate that hospitals and the “modern” medical community has been able to hi-jack such a basic capability of women so much so that women now think they can’t do it on their own… which is nonsense.

    While I agree with everything you suggest, you should still consider yourself fortunately that everything went fast and without incident. There are some very REAL dangers that would require a competent birthing professional such as a midwife in order to deal with and, in some rare cases, are actual medical emergencies requiring doctors. Regardless, it’s always better to have a clue than not. Thanks for your input.

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