What Do We Do If Baby Is Born at Home or in the Car?

Updated on May 18, 2010
J.T. asks from Glendale, AZ
16 answers

I know I sound crazy but what if my baby comes before I have a chance to get to the hospital? What do we need to know like do we need to clean out their mouths and cut the cord or things like that.....

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So What Happened?

What a great idea.....call 911.....LOL duh! My pregnancy brain farts are getting worse the closer I get to June 6th my due date.

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answers from Dallas on

I would suggest if you are in the car or at home and you are unable to make it to the hospital before the baby comes, then you need to call 911 and a dispatcher will walk you through everything that you need to do. I would not rely on advice from anyone other than a trained professional in this matter.

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answers from Yuma on

You do not sound crazy. I wish I would have asked that question when I was pregnant with my 2nd. I know every labor is different, but I only had 3 contractions that were anywhere from 7 to 20 minutes apart. My husband was shaving so we could go in. I got up to get dressed and felt her coming! My daughter was born on my bed delivered by my husband. (45 minutes from first contraction to birth)

Call 911. The operator was so nice and helpful. The paramedics got there about 30 seconds after she was born and took over.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Women have been having babies for a looooooooong time before hospitals! The good news is cell phones, paramedics, police dispatchers, etc. You'll be fine. If this is your first baby, you'll have a LOT of time to get to the hospital.

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answers from Fresno on

Your post made me laugh, because when our first child was born, we lived in Berkeley and our baby was going to be born in San Francisco, which meant that we would have to cross the Oakland Bay Bridge in order to get to the hospital. If you have ever been to San Francisco, you know how bad the traffic can be! My husband was terrified that the baby would be born in a traffic jam on the Bay Bridge. And then I went into labor on a Friday morning during rush hour! LOL One of our baby shower gifts was a catcher's mitt, everyone in the family thought it was so funny how paranoid my husband was. Well, long story short, I was in labor for 14 hours. So... there was PLENTY of time to get to the hospital! You will be very, very lucky indeed if your labor goes fast enough that you will have to worry about delivering the baby in the car! =) But if it does happen, just like the other moms said, call 911. But it won't come to that! Congrats on your baby!

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answers from Denver on

J., this is an important consideration! I know because my last two labors were planned home births that progressed very quickly. My midwife was about 15 minutes after the birth of one and about 15 minutes before the birth of the other! The first thing that pops in my mind is to keep yourself and the baby warm. The baby, by holding it directly against your skin and massaging its body and yourself with whatever blankets, clothing or person is available. Also, don't worry about the cord, keeping that connection actually continues to deliver oxygen to your baby as their lungs become accustomed to their new job. You might even consider researching this yourself and negotiating for a delayed cord clamping from your caregivers. I know it sounds cliche, but knowledge really can be power! My absolute favorite birth book is Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin. The first part of the book is birth stories from the midwives and parents, as a first time mother this really opened my eyes to how uncomplicated birth can be. The second half is about birth from a technical aspect, knowledge that my husband and I found reassuring. I hope this helps!

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answers from St. Cloud on

Hi J.! You don't sound crazy! This happened to my friend last year (she gave birth in the car on the way to the hosp.). They called 911 and the dispatcher walked them through it.

If baby is born en route to the hospital, there is no need to cut the cord.

Hopefully you will make it in plenty of time! :)

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answers from Honolulu on

Ask your doctor what you need to know. If you call 911 post birth they have all the clamps and such so they can take care of anything you might need. Removing the cord is more of an look thing at the time when they do it in the hospital and it can actually be safely on there for several hours. cleaning the nose and such isn't so important either. what is important is keeping baby warm and stimulated. the best way to do this is slip naked baby under mom's shirt and let them snuggle and baby breastfeed.

The reason i know this is because my 1st child came in less than 8 hours, the 2nd came in 3 hours of labor and the last child came in 30 minutes of real labor (I say real labor because I have labor longer than this (weeks) but but without pain.)

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answers from Cincinnati on

Good news, though! It's very unlikely! Most first-time births take several hours, so please don't stress out over this! If it does happen, call 911.

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answers from St. Louis on

I would say call 911 and they will walk you through it. I wouldn't worry about it though. Although it has happened, its far more likely you will get to the hospital in time. If this is your first child, take some birthing classes and read some books. Most woman KNOW when they are in labor. When in doubt, you call your doctor.

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answers from Phoenix on

If your baby is born at home or in the car, you will both be just fine. Just squat or kneel over some towels, pull baby right up onto your chest, and cover him up with a blankie. Do not cut the cord at all; it will clamp down naturally and can be cut later after you birth the placenta. (In fact, you might want to research this issue for your hospital birth, as it is much healthier for a baby's cord to finish pulsing on its own rather than being clamped and cut, which deprives baby of its own blood.)

This is all very, very unlikely, so really, don't worry about it!

P.S. We have our babies at home on purpose with a midwife, and it all works beautifully!

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answers from San Antonio on

Congratulations and don't worry! If human beings needed doctors and hospitals to be born, we would have been extinct a long long time ago.

If your baby comes au natural, which would be very unlikely for a first baby, she or he will be just fine. DON'T cut the cord! You don't have to. There is absolutely no medical reason baby can't remain attached to the cord for a while as you get yourself to the hospital. The issue there is remaining sterile, and chances are you don't have anything in your car that is sterile, so don't bother. IF it happens (which I'd bet money that it won't) then just deliver the placenta, it will come out on its own, and put it right next to baby in the receiving blanket.

BTW, my son was born at home (planned) and it was safer than being born in a hospital. Read The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer for statistical information on hospital intervention procedures. That's what you reallly have to worry about.

Congrats, and don't worry. Your body knows how to have a baby. Your mind doesn't even have to get involved.

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answers from Gainesville on

Yep, you would need to call 911 and get the word from the pros on this one. But know that you do not need to cut the cord. Many home births and births at a birth center wait quite some time before they cut the cord so that is def. something you won't need to worry about. And most babies don't need to be suctioned.

And to have some insurance that this doesn't come up, take a birthing class so you will feel comfortable knowing the signs of labor. And ask your doc or midwife at what point you should be calling in to see if they want you to come in and get checked.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Unlikely but COULD happen. Have your cell - call 911. Don't cut anything. The paramedics will do it.

I have a friend who was sent home from the hospital for being there too early... then she ended up with things moving along fast and they had to call the paramedics. Baby came before they got there! It was her second baby...

Just make sure you talk to your doc or midwife about what to expect.

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answers from Dallas on

Just call 911, they walk you through it. My neighbor delivered his daughter in the master bathroom floor. She is a perfectly helathy 15 yr old.



answers from Austin on

Well, first thing to do is PANIC! No. Just kidding. If for some bizarre reason you go into labor before you get to the hospital, call 911. They will walk you through the steps that you need.



answers from Madison on

I also had this question in mind before I read about labor and birth, and attended birthing classes. The average first labor lasts about 12 hours, (could be much shorter or much longer than this) so you will most probably have plenty of time to go to the hospital. Don't worry. If somehow you cannot go to the hospital in time, it would be an extreme exception (for a first birth anyways, the next ones "can" come in much shorter time).
You will also experience and see that most if not all of labor and birth scenes on TV and movies totally got it wrong! I have yet to see a realistic labor and/or birth scene on mainstream media! It was very helpful to watch some real labor and birth stories at the birthing class. I would highly recommend it.
Take care and good luck!

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