BASIC DISASTER BIRTH SUPPORT Basic Training for Labor & Birth in an Emergency Situation


"Ruth Walsh’s idea of Basic Disaster Birth Support is genius. Before we had CPR instruction in the hands of the public, people died who could have been saved with simple CPR. Now it is taught in schools, civic groups and on line. The world is experiencing big changes, political as well as climatic, i.e. storms, floods, earthquakes and wars. These situations leave people stranded, threatened or left to fend for themselves. Cut off from the professional help they would normally receive to birth safely, women in labor need to depend on themselves and whatever family members or strangers that are willing to help them. With a small amount of education, another person can provide basic comfort and safety measures to the mother and baby. These simple skills are what BDBS is all about. It is not a course designed to make one a professional birth attendant, but rather to help when one is not available. When someone who has been educated with simple skills and knowledge is faced with an imminent birth, they will be able to remain calm. Applying their BDBS knowledge will reassure the laboring women and give her confidence to proceed normally. Teaching BDBS to the public will also give women more confidence in the natural state of birthing, reducing fear of the unknown. I heartily endorse teaching BDBS to the public as a cost effective, life saving measure and hope it spreads as easily as CPR."

Linda McHale, CPM, LM, EMT, midwifery leader and member of the Midwives' Alliance Council of Elders

"After the Derecho storm that secluded our community without power or gasoline for more than two weeks, I realized that in future disasters, we will very likely be secluded with limited access and assistance again. I've never had children, so I am not familiar with the natural birthing process, and didn't know that some hospital procedures are not helpful in a disaster situation when the mother is not in a hospital setting with hospital services. After BDBS training, I feel I have the knowledge and confidence to assist a pregnant woman through birth if the need ever arises."

L. Hayes-Minney, BDBS Team Member