Originally Posted by KristaDJ
I would not buy or use one without proper training, it's dangerous IMO and from the reading I've done the air in our windpipe is better for giving breaths to a baby anyway.
I agree that I would not use one without training, because of the possibility of over-inflating (and possibly rupturing) the baby's lungs.
Research shows that giving a baby room air to start with, rather than oxygen, is better for babies on all counts, both in short and long term; some highly compromised neonates do benefit from receiving supplemental oxygen after initially inflating the lungs with room air. Room air has exactly the right amt of 02 in it (21%), as opposed to pure 02 which can cause damage when overused. The air in our own windpipe would be less than 21%--but is definitely safer than delivering 02.
In the case of giving rescue breaths by mouth to mouth, the idea is at least 2fold: one is the mechanical action of puffing into the baby, thus inflating the baby's lungs to initiate baby's breathing activity if baby is depressed due to prolonged distress/oxygen deprivation during the birth. The other element is human touch, delivering healing touch/love along with air/inflation.
Just for clarity--an ambubag only delivers room air, unless it is hooked up to an oxygen tank. I still would not use one without training, tho. And practice on dolls to get the pressure just right. Not called for in a UC, I think, and too risky unless a decision is made to get training and to practice. If a UC baby needs help breathing, and a couple of rescue breaths is not enough, then (gentle, low pressure) mouth to mouth inflations can be maintained for an indefinite period of time while waiting for EMS with their tools and skills.