A pregnant woman smiles as she gets into the passenger seat of a car.
Sometimes babies arrive more quickly than we anticipate and are born in unusual places. Among the most common places is the car, usually on the way to the hospital. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

I like to follow news articles that have to do with birth, as you might have guessed.

Did you hear about the woman who gave birth to twins in her driveway? Or the recent video clip that a dad took as mom delivered her own baby—in a vehicle on their way to the birthing center?

Babies come when they want, just as a Maine couple recently found out. Dad helped mom to the car and went back to get luggage. When he returned, she had already given birth to the baby.

Another article named the Top 10 Places moms have delivered babies.

My favorite included in a tree (during a flood), at the post office, and then there’s the mom who delivered while driving down the road.

While these places weren’t intentional for birth, would you know how to deliver your baby if you’re unable to make it to the hospital?

13 tips for delivery if your baby decides to make a quick entrance:

  • Get into a comfortable position. You want to squat or lay down and take your pants off. If time permits, put a shower curtain or towels underneath you. Have a towel for baby, if possible.
  • Make sure your doors are unlocked.
  • Call 911. Then call your OB provider or Family Birth Center, and they can talk you through your delivery.
  • If your partner isn’t with you, call someone. Have whoever is helping you wash their hands.
  • Stay calm and don’t panic. Babies that come quickly usually come easily. When Spectrum Health Gerber’s midwife, Susan Wente, CNM, PhD, has talked women through their deliveries she reminds them, “Stay calm. You are doing great! Everything’s all right, so keep calm.”
  • If you can, help guide your baby into the world with your hands.
  • Don’t cut or tie the umbilical cord.
  • Gently wipe baby’s face to clear mucus.
  • Bring baby to your tummy or chest, and cover you both with a blanket or towel. Put a hat on baby.
  • If baby doesn’t cry on his or her own, stimulate baby by rubbing his feet or rubbing up and down his back. Make sure his airway is open, not chin tucked on his chest.
  • When the placenta comes, the cord seems to lengthen and you will notice a gush of blood.
  • If the umbilical cord is long enough, put baby to breast. This sucking will encourage oxytocin, which is a hormone that helps the placenta to loosen and be delivered. Continue to nurse after the placenta comes out to help the uterus contract.
  • After the placenta is delivered, firmly massage your uterus. You’ll feel it right below your navel.

Note that if you have a history of fast deliveries, please talk with your OB provider.

Do you have a unique birth location story? Share it in the comments below.