Emergency Childbirth

If labour comes on suddenly and proceeds very fast, and there is no time to get the mother to hospital, you must be prepared to deliver the baby yourself. Don’t panic - birth is a natural event and in most cases proceeds perfectly normally with only minimum assistance from those in attendance.

Make sure the room is warm, and put fresh sheets on the bed, with a large plastic sheet underneath to keep the mattress clean. Up to 0.5 litre (1 pint) of blood and fluids will be lost during the birth; this is quite normal. Boil a pair of scissors and a length of string to sterilize them. Wash your hands thoroughly, taking care to scrub under your finger nails.

The baby’s head will appear first, followed by the shoulders. As soon as the shoulders are out, support the head, but do not pull on it or the umbilical cord. Once the body and legs have emerged, gently wipe the mucus away from the nose and mouth and tip the baby’s head downwards. This should start the baby breathing, but if it doesn’t do so within 1 minute, begin artificial respiration (see Breathing).

Once the cord stops pulsating, tie it with the sterilized string in two places, one about 10 cm (4 in) away from the baby’s tummy and the other about 20 cm (8 in) away; then cut the cord between the pieces of string with the sterilized scissors. Swaddle the baby in a clean sheet and give him or her to the mother to hold.

Within about 30 minutes of the birth, the placenta should appear; gently massage the mother’s stomach to assist delivery of the placenta, but do not pull on the cord. If bleeding continues after delivery of the placenta, contact Emergency Medical Services, give reassurance, and massage the mother’s stomach every few minutes until help arrives.

Once the placenta has been delivered and the baby has settled, encourage the mother to take a shower, and bathe the whole vulval area with Arnica solution (10 drops of mother tincture to 0.25 litre [½ pint] warm water). If there are large tears in vulva or near back passage, suturing will be necessary.

Homeopathic remedies during emergency childbirth
The remedies listed below represent only a small proportion of those traditionally used by homeopaths to assist childbirth, but they should be used only if no other help is available. Prolonged or difficult labour requires medical attention.


Specific remedies to be given every 15 minutes for up to 7 doses

  • Moderate or severe back pain, bearing down sensation on cervix, no dilation Coffea 30c
  • Sensation of constant pressure in womb, constant bearing down sensation, forcing pains, mother very distressed Secale 30c
  • Mother very restless, chilly, and tearful, labour very slow Pulsatilla 30c
  • Sever pains which suddenly cease, with cervix undilated, urge to pass urine or stool Nux 30c

Prolonged Labour

Specific remedies to be given every 15 minutes for up to 7 doses

  • Mother exhausted, muscles of uterus no longer able to push, death of baby suspected Secale 30c
  • Sever backache, muscles of uterus exhausted, mother of strong constitution, or if death of baby is suspected Pulsatilla 30c
  • Pain stops suddenly due to emotional upset, face red, hot, and puffy Opium 30c
  • Mother delirious Hyoscyamus 30c

Go Back Back to Ailments & Diseases

View Related

Ailment & Diseases

View Related


  Nux vom.
View Related

Other Treatments

  Arnica solution
View Related


Related to Childbirth & Post Natal
  National Council For One-Parent Families
  Cry-sis Helpline
  La Leche League Great Britain
  Down's Syndrome Association
  National Childbirth Trust
  Association for Imrovements in the Maternity Services (AIMS)
  Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID)

Forward this Article

Email this Page
Forward this page to a friend

Print this Article

Print this Page
Send this page to your printer
Dr Lockie logo