Childbirth & Feminine Health


Birthing clinics should be set up throughout the city and expecting mothers should coordinate ahead of time for when labour begins. Otherwise medical units can be used, and in case of emergency childbirth follow the guidelines below. Whenever possible, enlist the assistance of qualified medical personnel, nurses and midwives and have birthing supplies ready.

Signs of impending delivery

• Regular contractions that are two minutes apart or less between the start of each contraction.

• The sensation of having a strong urge for a bowel movement.

• Rupture of the amniotic sac (the water breaks), possibly while attempting to eliminate.

During labour

The first stage lasts from the beginning of strong contractions until the baby has dropped into the birth canal (launch position). The mother should drink lots of fluids and try to keep the bowels evacuated. An enema may be helpful. If she has a bowel movement the mother should be wiped from front to back and the bed coverings should be changed. The mother should wash her buttocks and genital area with soap and warm water. Birthing supplies should be readied. During this stage the mother should not push and her belly should not be massaged. Deep, slow breathing can help ease the pain. A warm wet face towel held against her genitals can help open and loosen her muscles. Walking helps to speed the delivery and labour. This stage typically lasts 10 to 20 hours, but could be as short as 2 hours and as long as 2 days.

The second stage starts when the baby has dropped into the birth canal and finishes when the baby is born. Keep everything as sterile as possible during this stage, washing hands frequently or using latex gloves if available. With each contraction, the mother should push hard until the baby’s head shows about 3 inches across. At this point, the mother should slow down, take short fast breaths and not push too hard, in order to avoid vaginal tearing. Hands or fingers should never be inserted into the birth canal or it could lead to severe infection. This second stage is usually finished in a couple of hours and is easier than the first stage.

The third stage lasts from the birth until the placenta has been expelled and bleeding has stopped. This usually happens between five minutes and one hour after the birth. If there is severe bleeding or the placenta does not come out, seek medical attention immediately.

Birthing supplies

• Flashlight
• Plastic sheet, tarp or large garbage bags to place under the mother on the bed
• Clean sheets or towels to place under the mother and on top of the plastic sheet. Change as soon as it gets soiled. Have at least 3 extra clean dry towels on hand.
• Menstrual pads
• Rubber suction bulb for suctioning the newborn’s mouth and nostrils
• Sterile gloves, gauze dressings and razor blade or scissors
• Two pieces of sterile string (you can boil a few shoelaces for 10 minutes) for tying the umbilical chord
• Receiving blankets or towels and diapers for the newborn
• A container for the placenta


Making menstrual pads

Make menstrual pads by layering flannel strips on top of terry cloth strips as needed. To hold in place, cut flannel strips to include wings to wrap around underwear and sew on snaps or buttons to secure wings closed. Alternately, sew with a fold-over at either end and string elastic or a thin sash through fold-over to belt around the waist or hips.

[ diagram to come ]

To clean, soak cloth pads in cold water overnight, then launder. It’s best to disinfect cloth pads by boiling in water for at least 10 minutes to avoid any residue from attracting bacteria. Use the soaking water and (cooled) boiling water to nourish your herb or vegetable garden.

Treating yeast infections

Wash the genitals and anus every time after any elimination with a dilution of apple cider vinegar in plenty of clean water, pouring it down from the pubic area and washing from the back.

Do not wear underwear, or wear loose cotton underwear.

Eliminate sugars, breads, alcohol and vinegar from your diet and consume cranberry juice or blackberry juice, and plenty of garlic. Increase your intake of vitamin C (see 5:2:iii), and consume 1 cup of fresh plain yogurt daily until infection clears.

Use a garlic clove as a suppository and leave in overnight. Do not douche.

Treating vaginitis

Follow all guidelines for treating yeast infections above, and:

Use calendula salve to soothe the itching and irritation caused by vaginitis.

Have a hot-cold contrast sitz bath: sit in a hot shallow bath for 3 minutes, then stand up and hold a cold wet towel on your genitals for up to 1 minute. Repeat this cycle 5 times.

Reducing Premenstrual Syndrome

Diet: eliminate animal fat and dairy from your diet, and consume oils or butters from flaxseed, walnut and pumpkin. Drink tea from evening primrose or red raspberry leaves. If available consume plenty of asparagus.

Cramps: Take 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel with a pinch of black pepper after every meal one week before, and the week during, menstruation.

Read the next section, The Sick, The Elderly, & Human Burial...

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