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)
- 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.