You may never be called upon to assist at the birth but a pregnant woman may be near you or indeed, she may be the patient for other things and go into labour.

It is very rare for babies to be born without warning. Approximately one baby in every 200 babies arrives suddenly. ,Whilst most of these are at home, some babies are born in cars, or in the back of an ambulance, or elsewhere.

Most BBAs are at home and without a midwife present,  ambulance crew often arrive just in time for the birth.

What should you do if you think baby is coming?

Keep calm: Call control, tell the operator how many weeks pregnant and that the baby is coming quickly.

Unlock the doors so that the crew can get in. If it is during the night, turn on all the lights.

If you are able, gather together some items such as:

  • Large clean towels to dry and cover the baby.
  • A baby blanket to keep baby warm.
  • A large bowl, or plastic bag without holes, to put the placenta in.

Get the room warm, and shut windows or doors to prevent draughts so the baby is warm when born. Leave entrance door UNLOCKED.
Despite all the above Listen and carry out the Emergency Call Handler’s instructions.

If crew has not arrive at birth leave the umbilical cord attached.

The placenta often comes out within 20 minutes of a baby’s birth, but it may take up to an hour.

Most women are absolutely fine after a BBA birth. Though they may need to be transferred to hospital for stitches, or if there has been a complication with the third stage of labour or if the baby needs extra care.