Tuesday, May 10, 2011

TEOTWAWKI and the great population explosion

One of the oft overlooked aspects of a post-TEOTWAWKI world is the reality of a rapid population increase.  Like it or not, massive societal upheaval is usually the precursor to a baby boom.  The baby boom following World War II was fairly innocuous due to readily available medical care - a post grid-down baby boom would be another story altogether.

In days gone by, the general population was fairly familiar with at least the basics of labor and birth.  Being heavily agrarian, people regularly attended animal births and due to the lack of medical facilities, human birth was handled by midwives in homes.  Although the circumstances were less than ideal, there was a competence level among the populace that is absent in our modern age.

Today, pregnancy is carefully avoided, until just the "right" moment.  Birth control pills, shots or even abortion are readily available.  Condoms and spermicides are everyday contraceptions.  When a woman does become pregnant, her care is meticulously managed by health care professionals to ensure a healthy mother and a healthy baby.  We have become insulated from the realities of unmanaged pregnancy, birth and labor.  We are unprepared for the intricacies of labor, delivery and post-natal care in a grid-down, non-sterile world.

As families dedicated to preparedness we can't ignore the very real dangers posed to mothers and infants through lack of knowledge and the basic equipment to deal with birth and subsequent postpartum care.  Information and medical necessities are readily available now.  We have to take advantage of this time and prepare for the inevitable.  Although you may not see the need to prepare for yourself, I will guarantee that at some point you will be blessed with the honor of ushering in a new life.  Being prepared could be the difference between a day of rejoicing and a day of mourning.

Survival, in its simplest form, is often a matter of information.  Reference materials can be worth their weight in gold.  The premier survival manual for labor, delivery and postpartum care, in my opinion, is A Book for Midwives, by Susan Klein, Suellen Miller and Fiona Thomson.  It is written for lay people, with tons of illustrations (you don't want young children thumbing through this book!) and very specific and detailed information.  It not only covers pregnancy, labor, delivery and postpartum care, it also goes into great detail on a host of women's issues.  The medical information, while directed toward pregnancy and birth, is useful in any medical emergency.  Learning to suture is as valuable when performing minor surgery as it is when caring for a peritoneal tear.  Autoclaving is an important skill whether you are preparing instruments to remove a bullet or cut an umbilical cord.  The medical information presented in this book make it an invaluable resource.

You can begin preparing for the TEOTWAWKI inspired population explosion now by putting together basic necessities for labor and delivery.

Basic Birth Kit

  • Cord clamps or sterile shoe laces
  • Iodine or herbal umbilical cord care (for umbilical cord stump)
  • Washable Chucks (incontinence pads)
  • Blankets and hats for baby
  • Hot water bottle (for warming baby)
  • Surgical gloves (in your size) 
  • Bulb syringe (for clearing baby's nose and mouth)
  • Thermometer
  • Cinnamon Tincture (for helping mom stop bleeding)
  • Hot water (for cleaning up mom and baby - and everything else)
  • Postpartum menstrual pads (preferably washable)
  • Cloth diapers
Many other things could be added, and of course, you will want to have more than just enough for one delivery.  

As with all things preparedness, forewarned is forearmed. As we prepare for societal upheaval, we also must prepare to welcome the next generation of warriors.  If we want to thrive in a grid-down future, we have to prepare for TEOTWAWKI and the great population explosion. 


  1. The message to be careful is well intended, but the demographics of you argument could not be further from the truth.

    The baby boom cane during the recovery from the TEOTWAWKI. Note that Britain was still on war time rationing for some time after the war, and had a second delayed boom in the 1960s. The 1930s (Great Depression) was a period of low fertility.

    Even much smaller down turns (recessions) lead to lower fertility (pdf) http://www.iiasa.ac.at/Research/POP/pub/Skirbekk/Research%20Note%202009_Economic%20recession%20and%20fertility_10Feb2010.pdf

  2. I had both of our children without any medication, and I recommend The Bradley Method. Bradley birth books are useful references (some with photos). Katy

  3. May I also recommend a book for natural family planning? It's Taking Charge of Your Fertility. I've found it to be a great resource for understanding the signals your body gives to show if you're fertile or not. I think it's a tried and true way to space out pregnancies, keep from conceiving, or conceive more quickly and all without chemicals or hormones or man-made devices.

  4. It's also a good idea for those that depend on birth control to learn about natural family planning, knowing your cycle and your body can go a great deal in preventing pregnancy for those that want to

  5. Enola,

    The point of this most important article has been duly noted, regardless of the demographic offsets.

    In a TEOTWAWKI situation, childbirth at HOME will take it's normal positioning again, like it had before for centuries, instead of "delivering" your baby to you, at an offsite clinical location.

    And, Yes, high risk pregnancies will end up in higher fetal mortality rates.

    I am referencing a medical forum here, for others to
    peruse, to enable them to gather additional resource information on all medical
    issues, and on how treatment and management of healthcare issues will ALL morph back to Homecare in a TEOTWAWKI situation.

    Armageddon Medicine

    How to be your own doctor in 2012 and beyond
    Dr. Cynthia Koelker

    There are hundreds of medical professionals contributing to this site.

  6. I agree with russell1200. In true end of the world scenarios, increased stress levels, poor nutrition, and poor health in general greatly decrease fertility rates in the general population. For a family that is well-prepared and doesn't suffer from deprivation this may not be the case and knowledge about home birth would be an asset.
    There are several good books available: Heart and Hands by Elizabeth Davis; Myles Textbook for Midwives; and one book that was written with a definite 60s drug culture bias, but has a lot of good midwifery information, Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin. The Bradley method is, hands down, the best method for dealing with an unmedicated delivery.

  7. Of course there will be a certain amount of the population that will not conceive due to a lack of nutrition, however, regardless of the scenario, the lack of birth control will result in many unplanned pregnancies. The lack of medical facilities will leave expectant mothers at the mercy of her own knowledge and the knowledge of those around her. History has borne out the assumption that major societal upheaval results in high birth rates. Look at the Hebrews when in Egyptian captivity - their birth rate went through the roof. Granted, depending on the TEOTWAWKI scenario, statistic might be skewed, due to the enormous general loss of life. My point in writing this post was to highlight the fact that common birth control will not be available and birth will be inevitable and preparedness minded folks would be wise to prepare for this major life change.


  8. Heart and Hands by Elizabeth Davis is an excellent text to include in your preparedness library.

    Here are a few others that are wonderful references to acquire as well.

    Husband-Coached Childbirth - Robert A. Bradley, MD, / Hathaways. Bantam Books,(2008).

    Natural Childbirth the Bradley® Way - Susan McCutcheon, AAHCC, Plume/Penguin.

    Children at Birth - Marjie and Jay Hathaway, AAHCC, Academy Publications, current edition.

    Assistant Coach's Manual - Susan Bek, AAHCC, Marjie Hathaway, AAHCC, Academy Publications, current edition.

    Womanly Art of Breastfeeding - La Leche League International. current edition.

  9. Enola,
    I have been reading your blog for quite sometime and find it very useful and informative.
    I have had the blessing of attending 3 births, and assisting in 2 others. You are spot on, on this topic. There will be those (sheeple) who believe that the societal collape is temporary (similiar to a large power outtage) and we know what happens 8 1/2 to 9 1/2 months after that.

    Thank you for continuing to share your life, wisdom and wealth of information.


  10. it is being reported on national news programs (radio and tv) this week that some states are finding obamacare is wreaking havoc with patients and doctors....patients cannot get in to see doctors for routine appts in less that 37 days on average, and ob/gyn doctors are becoming even more rare than before. this has nothing to do with population increases...but more with "rationing" which is what the govt. wants. there was in fact a baby boom in the 1940's as military returned home. they also had ration books-my husband still has his with stamps for shoes, coat, and milk. then in the fifties when korean war was going on we have the rest of the baby boom and medical care by drs. and hospitals became quite the popular thing to have.

  11. The population today is largely everything Robert Heinlan railed against:
    "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.
    Specialization is for insects."
    Robert Heinlein's Lazarus Long in Time Enough for Love.

    We have become a nation of specialists - more the sorrow for it.

  12. I had taken a DONA doula training several years ago. It was a great intro on the process of natural child birth. You can work as a doula and depending on your states' laws it may be possible to train with a midwife to become a lay midwife, say a doula, or just for your own edification.

  13. Here is a great site that caters to midwives and those planning a home birth. It's the only place I've found with affordable IV bags also. http://www.1cascade.com/