October 24, 2004

LI Dad Delivers Baby On Northern St Parkway

Buy that man a new set of floormats. Robert Pickus was driving his wife to the hospital on Long Island when--due to a combination of construction on the L.I.E., traffic on the Northern State Parkway, and a sudden cry of "Honey, my water just broke--he found himself delivering his son in the passenger seat of his Acura.

911 operators gave him pointers, and EMS showed up in a few minutes, but by then, Pickus had already "caught him like a first baseman."

Daddy's Speedy Delivery

For the record, here's a summary of emergency tips for delivering a baby at home or on the road [from What to Expect When You're Expecting]:

1. Remain calm, both of you.
2. Call 911.
3. Have the mother start panting, to keep from pushing.
4. Wash vaginal area and hands with antibacterial soap.
5. Get to a bed or table, with the mother's butt just hanging off the edge. If you're in a car, get in the backseat. Put paper, towels, whatever you got under the mother's butt. Maybe a shower curtain, too.
6. If the head appears, have her pant, not push. Apply gentle perineal counterpressure to keep the head from popping out. It's better to let it ease out slowly. Never pull it. If there's a loop of umbilical cord around the baby's neck, hook it with your finger and gently work it over it's head.
7. Work on the shoulder by gently putting two hands on the head and pressing it slightly downward as the mother pushes. As the upper arm appears, lift the head slowly and watch for the rear shoulder. After the shoulders the kid should slide right out.
8. Place the baby on the mother's stomach and wrap it in blankets, towels, etc. Interestingly, "something recentlyironed is relatively sterile."
9. Don't pull the placenta, let it come on its own. Keep it elevated above the baby. Don't cut the cord.
10. Keep everyone warm.
11. If you're driving during all this, pull over.

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