Chapter 13: The birth of the placenta – stage 3 of labor
1. Lay the baby on her back. She should be on a firm surface — like a firm bed,
a table, a board, or the floor. Keep the baby warm. Put a warmed cloth under
her, and a cloth on top of her, leaving her chest exposed.
2. Position the baby’s head so that it faces straight up.
This opens her throat to help her breathe. You can
easily get the baby into this position by putting a
small rolled-up cloth under her shoulders. Do not
tilt the head back far — it will close her throat
again. The baby may start breathing after you
put her in this position.
3. If the baby had thick meconium at birth,
quickly suction her throat (see page 213).
4. Put your mouth over the baby’s mouth and nose. Or close the baby’s mouth,
and put your mouth over her nose.
5. Breathe into the baby using only as much air as you can easily hold in your
cheeks. Do not blow. Too much air can injure the baby’s lungs. Give 3 to 5
slow breaths to start. This clears fluid from the baby’s lungs. Then give small,
quick puffs about 3 seconds apart.
6. Look at the baby’s chest. It should
rise as you breathe into the baby.
7. If the baby’s chest does not rise, reposition the
baby’s head — the air is not getting into her lungs.
8. Breathe about 30 breaths every minute. But it is not so important to get
exactly the right number of breaths.
9. Check for breathing. If the baby starts to cry or breathe at least 30 breaths a
minute, stop rescue breathing. Stay close and watch to be sure the baby is OK.
If the baby does not breathe, or breathes less than 30 breaths a minute, keep
rescue breathing until she breathes.
WARNING! The baby’s lungs are very small and delicate.
Do not blow hard into the baby’s lungs, or you can
break them. Breathe little puffs of air from your cheeks,
not from your chest.
A Book for Midwives (2010)