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Information to have on hand at a freebirth

*Disclaimer - I am not a medical professional and I do not claim for the following to be medical advice. Each family should do their own research and birth in a way that feels best for them. This is simply the information I found and decided to have on hand for my own freebirths. Consult your care provider for medical information. 

When I go into labour – (insert name and phone number)

Non-emergency hospital transfer – 5202 0000 (local hospital)

Backup support – (insert name and phone number)


Herbs and treatments
Retained placenta - Placenta release tincture, peppermint essential oil

Excess bleeding - No bleed tincture (only after placenta is out)

Mother in shock – Rescue Remedy, coconut water / electrolyte drink

Baby not breathing – Rescue Remedy

Tearing – Manuka honey, seaweed

After birth pains – Afterpain Ease tincture, arnica homeopathics


To do / get when labour starts

  • Call support person, text other support person

  • Set up GoPro

  • Clean bath / set up pool

  • Clean Placenta bowl

  • Towels

  • Chairs for kids to sit and watch

  • Diffuser

  • Coconut water & vitamin C

  • Water bottle

  • Mirror

  • Sieve (pooper scooper)

To have in “birth kit”:

  • Clary Sage oil for diffuser

  • Birth herbs (see above)

  • Chux pads

  • Nappies for me

  • Tubigrip (for belly after birth)

  • Baby nappy

  • This list



Placental abruption:

Signs: Bright red bleeding in early labour, mother showing signs of shock

•Immediate transfer for C-section

•If baby is almost out, mum should continue to deliver quickly if possible


Cord Prolapse:
Signs: Cord comes out first

•On knees, bum in air & chest on floor, push cord back in, try to reposition baby

•Call Ambulance for immediate transfer

•Keep cord moist and wet, ideally inside vagina

•If baby is almost out, mum should continue to deliver quickly if possible


Signs: baby’s hand presents alone, with no sign of baby’s head

•Call ambulance for immediate transfer

•Possibly try having mum on knees, bum in air, chest on floor, manually turn baby and birth vaginally. NOT commonly recommended. Follow instinct


Signs: baby’s bottom or foot presents first. Watch for cord prolapse

•Mother on hands and knees, or standing

•Do not touch baby until navel is born

•Make sure baby stays facing mother’s back or side, not turned around to face her front

•If stuck, gently reach in and release baby’s arms, or put finger in baby’s mouth to bend chin to chest. 

•NEVER pull on baby

Shoulder Dystocia:
Signs: difficulty birthing face and chin even though birth is imminent, or fetal head retracting back against perineum (“turtle head”), squashed and red face.

•Position change - all fours, change sides, 1 leg up, squatting

•hand manoeuvre (refer to Emergency Childbirth Pg 17)

•If nothing helps unstick baby call Ambulance

Signs: Green liquid coming out or covering baby

•Not often a concern

•Thick dark green meconium may be of concern if accompanied by decels or other signs of fetal distress picked up by mum

•Call ambulance to be there “just in case” if there is thick, dark meconium in early labour.


Nuchal Cord:
Signs: Cord wrapped around baby’s neck or chest

•Not of instant concern

•Unwrap AFTER delivery gently but not rushed

•If baby won’t come out, unhook cord over head before body is born

Baby Not Breathing:
Signs: Baby limp, floppy, not crying, white or blue skin

•Skin to skin

•Rub and pat vigorously

•Tilt head down to help drain fluid from lungs

•Talk to baby to get response – up to 3-4 mins is okay

•Apply rescue remedy to baby’s wrists and chest

•If baby is still not breathing after a few minutes call ambulance

•While waiting for ambulance start baby respiration - Pg 35 of Emergency Childbirth.

Signs: Feeling of labour again, passing of big clot without slowing of bleeding, faint.

•Breastfeeding, skin to skin

•Place piece of placenta in side of cheek, or chew on cord if placenta is not out yet.

•Take No Bleed Tincture ONLY IF placenta is already out, otherwise take placenta release tincture

•Lay down out of bath & keep warm

•Pressure on top of fundus - no more than mum can handle

•Call Ambulance

Placenta retention:
Signs: Placenta has not come out after 3-4 hours

Not of immediate concern if not much bleeding.

•Take Placenta Release tincture

•Sit on toilet, peppermint oil in toilet, sniff peppermint oil

•Blow into neck of a bottle or a balloon

•Gently tug on cord

*only an issue after 24 hrs or more, depending how mother is feeling.

Mother in shock:
Signs: shaking, pale colour, dizzy, light-headed, emotionless OR panicky

•Give rescue remedy and lie her down

•Make sure mother is warm, add blankets or towels

•Keep baby skin-to-skin with mum

•Give coconut water

•Encourage mum to sniff baby’s head

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