Tuesday, June 03, 2008


This Blog is Not Functional

Due to technical difficulties this blog is no longer functional. We are unable to edit outdated links or add features.

Please visit the new Emergency Childbirthing blog to view the original posts on this site, with updated links, as well as new posts on this vital topic.


Susana Baig
Mary Siever
Lori Ann

Friday, January 06, 2006


Being Fully Prepared

This is short and sweet, but I have a couple of thoughts. We had our third unassisted birth at the end of September of 2005 and our daughter, is now just over 3 months old.

Anyway, to get to my point. I was prepared, of course, physically and even mentally. But I had some emotional preparation which wasn't quite complete. This created, for me, less integration of the pain. It hurt, dang it. With Regan I knew that and yet it wasn't even a quarter as painful as my first birth. With Aisling I knew that, but I had homeschooling, two busy children, a household, a calling etc etc etc to keep my mind off the much needed emotional, mental and spiritual preparation that is important.

Keep this in mind when preparing for a birth, whether at home, the hospital or wherever. Preparation doesn't just mean washing baby's clothes and diapers and having warm towels ready. It means connecting with the Lord and with your baby and being in tune with your own body. I will likely expand on this in the future, but we are busy packing to move and just with everything, I continue procrastinating.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Teaching Emergency Preparedness

It is interesting how disaster softens hearts and broadens minds. People eagerly come together to help others, sacrificing their precious time and money. Disasters also uniquely motivate people to create change in an attempt to prevent such from occuring again. In the wake of hurricane Katrina we find an opportunity to share with our community, church body, friends, and family, principles of emergency preparedness, or Provident Living.

I know that many of my friends are interested in spreading the word and preparing those in their sphere for the next natural disaster or act of terrorism. Lori Silva is considering hosting an EMS emergency childbirth training in the rec. room of the complex where she lives. Sharon, an internet friend, approached the leader of her womens' group at church about teaching an emergency childbirth class. As she has done often over the years, Jenny Hatch plans to teach a Provident Living class in her home in October. I am considering formulating a class that incorporates babywearing, emergency childbirth, breastfeeding and other provident living principles.

Written by Susan Fierro-Baig

Saturday, September 10, 2005


"If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear"

In our search for emergency preparedness info, Lori and I have found some sources that we hope will assist those wanting to learn for themselves and/or possibly prepare others for the specific needs a pregnant woman has in a crisis situation. These sources are listed below. (My review is included in italics.)

I found this quote while searching Google, which partially explains why childbirth preparedness is so important:

"Otsego Memorial Hospital (OMH) welcomes Diana McMullen, R.N., to the Childbirth Education division of OMH’s Health Education Department... said McMullen. “My goal is to help parents experience the best labor and delivery possible. I aim to do this by making childbirth less of a mystery. The unknown is scary for most. The less fear parents have going into childbirth will hopefully decrease the pain and make the overall experience more enjoyable.”

Joseph Smith once said, "If ye are prepared ye shall not fear."
It is my belief that overcoming fear through parental preparation makes the birth experience more enjoyable, AND more safe, at all times, but critically so during a crisis situation. - Susan Fierro-Baig

1) In reading all of the cited sources below not one of them mentions the fact Childbirth Requires Physical and Spiritual Preparation.
Read the article I wrote.

2) The book, "Emergency Childbirth: A Manual" by Greg White, M.D.

This is a concise, thin book that every expectant couple should own, or at least read. You can find a link to this in the navigation bar on the left of this blog.)

3) A Service Learning Student Work Project entitled, "Emergency Preparedness for the Pregnant Woman" can be viewed via html or as a Power Point presentation.

This project was very well done, with colorful illustrations and is very informative. The participants assessed the level of emergency childbirth preparednesss in their county and created this presentation which they shared with hospitals, clinics etc. Although I find the childbirth instructions valuable, I do not support the recommendations to have a laboring woman breath "Hee Hee Hee" or to give a laboring woman perineal massage. The breathing pattern, "hee, hee hee" is recommended by Lamaze and is unnatural. The Bradley method teaches slow, deep breathing as we do in our sleep. As for perineal massage, as the presentation cited below, "The Evidence Speaks Out: Normal Labor and Childbirth" states, perineal massage hasn't been shown to be helpful. Also, many women I know find perineal massage indecent. Of course, I do recommend applying oil and hot towels.)

Exerpt from the presentation:

Access to healthcare
When under an attack, sometimes we can not get any healthcare. People may be confined to their homes, or running for their lives. This information can help a pregnant women prepare supplies and have knowledge of first aid preparation incase she is alone during an attack.
It is important to provide the community, especially the childbearing woman, with the necessary services and education in the event of an emergency.
It is important for the pregnant woman and her family to have as broad a base as possible so that they are better able to plan their next course of action.
Should an emergency occur, the potential for complications would be greatly increased due to a lack of education.
The knowledge about emergency preparedness for the pregnant woman could potentially drastically decrease complications.
The pregnant woman needs to be proactive in her own care.
The pregnant woman must become more self-reliant.
Childbirth classes should now include self-birthing instructions with written guidelines for reference in an emergency.
Pregnant women around the country and the world can benefit from this information. There are dangers of terrorists attacks all the time. If you and your partner are prepared for such as disaster, better outcomes will occur.

4) The "Online Emergency Preparedness Manual" can be viewed via PDF file.

I found this manual years ago, before Y2K. This was the first emergency preparedness source that I had found that included a chapter dedicated to emergency childbirth. The instructions are helpful, likely written by a Bradley Natural Childbirth instructor. I do take issue, however, with the recomendation to have the laboring woman lie on her back with her knees pulled back. This is totally erroneous. A laboring women should be free to labor as she feels the need. She can birth on her knees, while sitting, squatting, or laying on her side.)

5) Where There Is No Doctor , a village health care handbook by David Werner
with Carol Thurman and Jane Maxwell

(I haven't read this, though I am intrigued by the book description below.)

MOTHERS AND MIDWIVES will find useful the clear, easy-to-understand information for home birth, care of the mother, and child health.
The physical and psychological strain of coping with disaster can make it hard to remember what to do when disaster strikes. This book presents the basics of survival in an easy to understand format. Among the topics covered are: Choking, Heart Attack, CPR, Shock, Burns, Emotional Trauma, Bleeding, Fainting, Tending to Wounds, Broken Bones, Childbirth, Auto Breakdown, and Temperature Extremes.

6) "The Evidence Speaks Out: Normal Labor and Childbirth" can be viewed as a PDF.

7) "Organizing For Emergencies" a general emergency preparedness article from TheNewHomeMaker.com

Friday, September 09, 2005


Necessity and Birthing

So I don't delay posting on here any longer... I am going to relate some of my personal experiences and thoughts about childbirth and the necessity of being prepared and NOT relying on someone else to take care of it for you.

Both of my children, now aged 6 and aged 4 were born at home without the assistance of a doctor or a midwife. My birth stories are posted elsewhere, and I won't go into detail here, but I am going to explain my reasoning for birthing this way.

(Also, I am going to be having my third unassisted birth in just a few weeks. So this isn't new to me.)

In light of Hurricane Katrina, and other natural disasters (and some not so natural) in these times, there is a growing need to be better prepared to rely on our own resources. In past years, women have been more resourceful in this area, able to live through hardships, fend for themselves without the modern conveniences we experience today. Now, I don't categorise birth as "hardship", but I do believe it is something that needs preparation, faith and understanding to accomplish.

When we chose to birth unassisted, we didn't do it under some notion to be "brave" or "better." We were seriously criticised from many angles for choosing this path, and probably still are (albeit not to our faces). However, we do not, nor ever will, regret making these choices. And recently, seeing how others have been "forced" to fend for themselves, and not being prepared to do so, I am doubly glad that we are able to do this.

Giving birth without anyone in attendance doesn't crate fear or panic in me in any regard. I know it does for many others who have not considered this option. My belief though is that this needs to change. I am not saying that all births are going to be at home, without assistance, or without need for help. There are experiences where extra help is needed. However, I am also of the strongest opinion that women are entitled to and do receive divine inspiration in how to handle their births. In emergency situations where no help is at hand, or likely to be at hand, it is important to know what to do. This is apparent in many areas, but for a pregnant woman, crucially so.

I will expound on this some more (as time permits) in the future.


National Preparedness Month

The Department of Homeland Security website states:
"September is National Preparedness Month.

Welcome to the National Preparedness Month Website. Thank you for your interest in this important initiative designed to promote public emergency preparedness. On this Website you will learn how you can participate in National Preparedness Month 2005 and prepare yourself and your family for emergencies....

During September, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the American Red Cross and the National Preparedness Month Coalition Members asks all Americans to take some simple steps to prepare for emergencies including getting an emergency supply kit, making a family emergency plan, being informed about different threats and getting involved in preparing their communities.

To learn more about how you and your family can prepare for emergencies or
get involved visit: www.ready.gov or www.redcross.org or www.citizencorps.gov

We invite you to review the National Preparedness Month information on this Website, and to participate in this important effort."

Thursday, September 08, 2005


Slings for Hurricane and Tsunami Victims

HUGS: Help Us Give Slings

The Gift of Baby Slings: Tsunami and Hurricane Aid

Why did HUGS Begin?
On December 26, 2004 my family woke up to the horrifying news of the earthquake in Indonesia and the subsequent tsunami that caused devestation in Southeast Asia. We were particularly shocked since our father lives in Jakarta, Indonesia as a representative of the United Nations organization, UNIDO- United Nations Industrial Development Organization. A year prior I visited Jakarta and received a beautiful selendang baby sling. I observed mothers and fathers carrying their content babies and toddlers with such ease and convenience. It was then that I decided to carry my future child in the same traditional manner. My son and I have enjoyed the same joys and benefits of carrying a “koala baby.” When he was an infant I was able to complete my chores with him snuggled up against me either watching the goings on or sleeping soundly by the sound of my heartbeat; now that he is a toddler I have switched him to my hip where he loves to interact. Since our family has such a convenient connection to Indonesia we thought that there must be something that we could do in the aftermath of the tsunami disaster.

How does HUGS make a difference?
This is our families attempt to contribute to the hundreds of mothers whose babies were born in the refugee camps, as well as our effort to promote the practice of “baby wearing” among parents in the United States. HUGS is selling the slings purchased in Jakarta, Indonesia to raise funds and to teach mothers the art of using the traditional baby sling. All monies are sent back to Jakarta to purchase more slings. While on mission with the UNIDO my father distributes the slings to mothers living in refugee camps in tsunami affected regions. It is our hope that the selendang sling will be received as a useful and beautiful gift.

HUGS: Helping hurricane victims
In light of the recent Hurricane Katrina, HUGS has collected and delivered sheets to refugees in Texas to use as emergency slings. A sling is particularly useful when strollers are out of the question and while a mother is trying to carry a child and what little belongings she may have. HUGS is teaching aid workers the very simple, practical and SAFE way of moving about with a child during an emergency situation through babywearing. Please join us to hear about our disaster relief efforts to assist mothers in tsunami affected regions in Indonesia, and hurricane Katrina in the United States.

HUGS offers babywearing demonstrations
Jun-Nicole will demonstrate how you can use everyday household items as emergency baby carriers and how to use two traditional Asian baby carrying methods: the Indonesian selendang sling and the Japanese onbuhimo back carrier. A variety of batik selendang slings and sarongs will be available for purchase. The material has many uses beyond the traditional baby carrier. We have used ours as a blanket, sun protection, and as a changing surface...the gorgeous prints could be used as wearable art as a sarong skirt or shawl; a decoration as a table or altar cloth, wall hanging, curtain or bed spread. The class is free of charge and open to all. HUGS asks for a donation of $5, the cost to donate one sling to a mother in an internally displaced persons camp.

Contact Hugs:

Monday, September 05, 2005


HUGS Project

Read this article: HUGS: Help Us Give Slings Local Family Personalizes Tsunami Relief with Gift of Traditional Baby Carriers

UN worker, Masayoshi Matsushita, and his daughters give traditional selendang slings to mothers living in refugee camps and tsunami-
affected regions. A $5 donation buys 1 new sling for an Indonesian mother. The selendangs are also for sale to American mothers for $20.

Selendang fabric samples

Written by Susan Fierro-Baig

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