Rebecca Atieno, the woman who gave birth to a baby girl unassisted at Uhuru Park on Tuesday, has for the past few days captivated the nation with her story ever since her plight was highlighted by the Standard.
Her tribulations from being rendered jobless to giving birth at the park after being fired from her job have drawn attention to conditions pregnant women go through especially those with little or no access to health facilities.
One of the highlighted pieces from her against all odds story is how she managed to give birth alone before a well-wisher contacted medics who rushed her to Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).
While some women choose to free birth without the help of medics, others find themselves in unfamiliar waters when the baby comes unexpectedly.
So, what should you do if your water broke and you are all alone?
According to What to Expect, it is important for a pregnant woman as soon as she realizes that she is going into labour to remain calm.
Going into labour alone can be terrifying especially if it is the first pregnancy.
It is ok to worry about your welfare and that of the baby, but understand that it is a natural process. Your body can handle much more than you think.
Prepare yourself mentally and be in a position that you can easily call for help or reach for things that you need.
Be aware of what is going on in your body and surroundings.
As soon as the water breaks, quickly assess the situation by listening to your body by noting the frequency of the contractions in order to check whether you can make it to the hospital or not.
Ease into the birthing process by assuming a position that feels comfortable. Do not hold your breath or go in a “bear down position as the baby might come out quickly.”
“Panting can help, since this keeps you from holding your breath and adding to the internal pressure,” adds What to Expect.
You should also resist the urge to push the baby out and instead, “try to ease him/her out gently by pushing each time you feel the urge.”
Here is a nugget.
“Once your baby's head becomes visible, gently press your hands against your perineum (the area between your vagina and anus) to keep the head from popping out too fast.
“Do not pull; just guide the baby out gradually. If you find the umbilical cord around your baby’s neck, hook a finger under it and slowly loosen it enough to ease it over his head,” advised the outlet
What to Expect adds that it is not wise to cut or tie the umbilical cord yourself as by doing so you could expose the infant to infection.
“Wrap the placenta in a clean towel elevated above the level of baby,” and wait for health professionals.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Evewoman.co.ke