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homebirth and oxygen? - Page 3

post #41 of 46

Why is everyone concerned about a midwife's competence if she doesn't bring oxygen to a birth? Pure oxygen is actually toxic and even a couple minutes of exposure causes cellular damage, causing the baby more distress. They should be resuscitated with a bag of room air.

post #42 of 46
Originally Posted by amlikam View Post

Ok this has baffled me through this tread and I need to ask: doesn't the placental provide oxygenation for a several minutes after the baby is born?


The short answer is "no."


The longer answer is that as part of the contractions in the second stage of labor the blood vessels leading to the placenta begin to constrict, and after the fetus is expulsed this continues at a rapid pace.  The evidence on delayed cord clamping is mixed, and it might indeed have some health benefits, but nobody should think that it's an adequate substitute for the baby actually breathing.

post #43 of 46
Originally Posted by rnra View Post

There is no way to know how much oxygen is actually being delivered through the umbilical cord.  I know that the following blog is not liked among posters here, but it has a good explanation of placentas and oxygen transfer...http://www.skepticalob.com/2011/05/ncb-stupid-pulsing-umbilical-cord.html

Liked among homebirthers or not, I would rather take info from someone who appreciates and respects birth, instead of someone who thinks that a baby that is born vaginally has a higher chance of becoming a government tyrant.

post #44 of 46

If you have access to a library where you can access this article, you might find it interesting regarding use of oxygen during resuscitation at birth.


From JOGNN, Mar/Apr 13



post #45 of 46

I'm an NRP instructor and a midwife.

Oxygen is not to be used during the first 2 minutes of resuscitation, but if baby isn't breathing on its own after that time, the midwife should be using oxygen while she continues with bag and mask.

Two other things to consider. The oxygen may be for you in case of blood loss or if the baby's heart rate begins to drop and you are not in the process of birthing.

Other ways to get air to the baby's lungs is with a laryngeal mask airway. This may be what your midwife is talking about. Makes a very good alternative to intubation, but still gets oxygen to the baby.


There are also congenital malformations like diaphragmatic hernias that necessitate the use of oxygen, because the abdominal contents are up in the chest area and it decreases lung capacity, so baby has a really hard time getting enough oxygen. Rare complication.


I wouldn't count it against the midwife if she carries oxygen. She may never use it, but if she needs it , you will be glad she has it. It should not be a substitute for good resuscitation skills and excellent clinical judgement.

post #46 of 46
Coming from a respiratory therapist who is also doing a homebirth- the oxygen is not only important for emergencies when baby needs further assistance, it's even MORE beneficial for the mother with emergencies in childbirth. Working in the hosp I've seen numerous times where infants needed o2. I can also tell u that the issues that stem from oxygen to babies does not happen immediately. Baby must be on for prolonged periods of time. In any regards its VERY wise to have the basics with homebirth which is oxygen and if poss something to slow bleeding such as pitocin
And no. It's not dangerous to carry oxygen if properly placed and restrained in car
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