Off-Grid Pregnancy and Child Birth (Video)

Categories: Health & Nutrition

For centuries giving birth at home was the norm. By the 1900’s increasing numbers of women started having their babies at hospitals. However, as our understanding of anatomy, modern medicine, the mechanics of childbirth, and technology have significantly increased, more women have been willing to consider the option of having a home birth.

This option involves the participation of trained midwives or nurse-midwives in cases of low-risk, healthy pregnancies. As interest in home birth increases, the number of studies will continue to grow to provide us with a greater understanding of the related risks and benefits.


Firstly Breech: Breech birth is not something to fear! Yes breech babies do pose higher risks than cephalic ones, but the risks are fairly equal whether the breech baby is born vaginally or by cesarean - and attempting to turn the baby is not without risks either. Especially in a grid down scenario without the ability to monitor the baby's stress level.
When birthing a breech baby there are a couple main things to keep in mind - use gravity. Birth standing up, squatting, kneeling etc. (best positions for birth anyway, but especially important with breech) - Hands off the Breech - no one should touch the baby at any point during the birth as it can startle the baby and cause head flexion which can increase the risk of head entrapment.


Rarely if a few minutes have passed since the birth of the body two fingers may need to be gently inserted to tuck the baby's chin down to facilitate the birth of the head, and the baby may need to be rotated if it doesn't on its own. But for the most part no touching and all will be well. -
Also important with breech, as with any birth, is to keep fear and anxiety and other causes of adrenaline away from the mother. Adrenaline can have a hugely detrimental effect on birth as it hinders oxytocin. Hormones are vastly overlooked in their importance in the birth process.
Cutting the cord: Clamps are not needed. The cord can be tied with dental floss, embroidery floss, yarn, shoelaces etc. Get water boiling to steralise the scissors and tying implement, and take your time tying it off.
A good hour after the birth will ensure the baby gets their full blood supply and stem cells. Better yet, especially if hygiene is lacking, instead of cutting it the cord it can be burned off (and kept long on the baby's side, using a foil pie plate or something similar to shield the fire from the baby). The vessels will be cauterised and infection risk will be minimised.
The cord doesn't even need to be severed at all, but the placenta will require extra care so this is not ideal in survival scenarios. Hats: Best not to put hats on newborns, at least for the first couple hours. Pheromones secreted through the baby's head help with mother-baby bonding as well as assist the uterus to clamp down.

Best practice following a birth to minimise hemorrhage risk is to not interfere with oxytocin production by disturbing the mother at all, skin to skin, letting the baby do the breast crawl, and being exposed to those pheromones the baby is secreting through the top of their head. The herbal infusions and tinctures as mentioned are good to have and use too. (in the event of hemorrhage, cayanne is another good one to have on hand too.) 

Waterbirth : As far as I am aware through the research I have done, the only risk to baby taking in water would be if the water is not deep enough for mom to remain submerged enough that the baby isn't exposed to air at any time. The baby will not be stimulated to take a breath until they fee the air on their face.
In a waterbirth the baby is being born from fluid into fluid and will not breathe. As such, breech and water born babies (as well as those born in a hurry) are often slower to breathe and pink up as they don't have the same slower stimulation to start breathing that most babies have when their heads are exposed to air but they are not yet fully born.

The following information is designed to help women make an informed decision:

Could home birth be for me?

Home birth may be an option for you if:

  • You are having a healthy, low-risk pregnancy
  • You want to avoid an episiotomy, cesarean section, epidural and other similar interventions
  • You want to share the experience with family and friends
  • You want to be free to move around, change positions, take a shower, and eat or drink freely during labor
  • You want to enjoy the comforts of your home and familiar surroundings

Home birth is not for you if:

Most midwives will bring the following with them the day of delivery:

  • Oxygen for the baby if needed
  • IV’s for mom if she becomes dehydrated or needs additional nutrients
  • Sterile gloves, gauze pads, cotton hat for the baby, drop cloths, waterproof covers for the bed, a thermometer, a pan for sitz baths after birth
  • Fetoscopes or ultrasonic stethoscopes
  • Medications to slow or stop a hemorrhage
  • Special herbal preparations, homeopathic remedies, massage supplies/techniques and perhaps even acupuncture needles
  • Items for suturing tears

How often and under what circumstances would transfer to the hospital occur?

According to a study in the United Kingdom, approximately 40% of first time mothers and 10% of women who have previously given birth are transferred to the hospital for delivery.

The following are some of the reasons women are transferred:

For a breakdown of percentages you may refer to the following study:


Tips When Considering a Home Birth

  • Put together a health care team consisting of a midwife and an obstetrician
  • Interview several midwives regarding their birth philosophy. You might be more comfortable with a midwife who shares your view of birth
  • Write out a Plan B in case a hospital transfer is necessary
  • Hire a doula
  • Find out if your midwife works with a backup OB/GYN
  • Find a pediatrician who will examine the baby within 24 hours of the birth

Home Birth Benefits

Home birth may be significantly easier on your bank account. An average uncomplicated vaginal birth costs about 60% less in a home than in a hospital.

Home birth provides immediate bonding and breastfeeding. Early breastfeeding helps the mother stop bleeding, clears mucus from the baby’s nose and mouth, and transfers disease-fighting antibodies in the milk from mother to baby.

Home birth allows you to be surrounded by those you love. By including children, family, and friends in the birth process, you are provided with many helpers, and everyone involved has the opportunity for intimate and close bonding.

Recommended Reading

You may find the following books helpful.


The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.

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