Every parent who is going to undertake a home birth should take an infant CPR class. There you will learn how to resuscitate a newborn and how to perform CPR if the heart is not beating. Of course, you will want to send someone to call 911 immediately while you are performing these techniques. Or if you are alone, have 911 on speed dial on your phone.
When a baby emerges from the birth canal, they may not breathe immediately. Put them skin-to-skin with the mother, and have the mother stroke the baby and talk to it. Perhaps have a warm bath available to put the baby into immediately after it emerges. This will ease the baby's transition to it's new surroundings.
If however, after 30 seconds to a minute, if the baby does not seem to be breathing or pinking up, abandon the gentle approach and go to slapping the bottom or the bottoms of the feet. Get a rough washcloth and rub the baby's skin. This will be an irritating feeling and may rouse the baby. Begin resuscitation or CPR if necessary.
Ideally, we want the baby's introduction to this world to be soft, gentle and kind. But if they are not breathing, a more vigorous approach must be tried.
One home remedy to have on hand is Cayenne Tincture. For newborns with respiratory failure, use several drops tincture diluted half and half with water right on their tongues. To learn to make your own Cayenne Tincture, click here.
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