Help the mother give birth
If the waters were yellow or green it means the baby may have meconium (stool)
in her mouth and nose and risks breathing it into her lungs. You may need to be
ready to clean out the baby’s mouth with a suction trap or a bulb syringe
(sometimes called an ear syringe).
But remember that most babies do not need to be suctioned at all. Suctioning
can cause the baby to have trouble breathing. Only suction if there is meconium
(see pages 213 to 214).
Check for a cord around the baby’s neck
If there is a rest between the birth of the head and the birth of
the shoulders, feel for the cord around the baby’s neck.
If the cord is wrapped loosely around the neck,
loosen it so it can slip over the baby’s head or
If the cord is very tight, or if it is wrapped
around the neck more than once, try to loosen
it and slip it over the head.
If you cannot loosen the cord, you may need to deliver the baby around the
cord. As the head begins to deliver, keep the head close against the mother's thigh,
and let the baby's body somersault out around the head. Once the baby is out, you
can unwind the tight cord and let the trapped blood flow back into the baby.
It is very rare that a tight cord would prevent a baby from being born. If the
baby has already been born up to the shoulders, the cord should be long enough
for the body to be born too. If a baby's head is born and the body is not coming,
most likely the shoulders are stuck (see pages 210 to 212).
If you cut the cord before the birth of the baby, the baby cannot get any oxygen
until he begins to breathe, which makes an emergency. In the very rare case you
must cut a cord before the birth of the baby, use medical hemostats and blunt-
tipped scissors for clamping and cutting the cord in this situation. If you do not
have them, use clean string and a new or sterilized razor. Be very careful not to cut
the mother or the baby’s neck.
WARNING! If you cut the cord before the birth of the baby, the
mother must push hard and get the baby out fast. Without the
cord, the baby cannot get any oxygen until he begins to breathe.
A Book for Midwives (2010)