CPR Instructions for Pregnant Women

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If you have a loved one or close acquaintance who is pregnant, or if you just want to be ready for a potential emergency, learning CPR can save not one life but two or more. If you know what to do, you can keep oxygen available to the baby and mother until help arrives. If you decide to receive formal CPR training, with a focus on pregnancy, you may want to bring a partner with you. CPR can be done better with more than one rescuer.

Step 1

Approach the victim, and shout or otherwise elicit a response. Ask if she’s okay and if she needs anything. Tell her you are calling for help and will be with her until help arrives.

Step 2

Call out to someone around you to go call 911. If she has family or friends around, ask them how far along she is and what health issues she may have.

Step 3

Look for signs of injury, and carefully roll the pregnant woman so she is leaning on her left side at about a 45-degree angle. Tuck blankets under her right side to hold her on her left. The baby should not put pressure on her back, as this can cause long-term problems.

Step 4

Lean down and put your ear to her mouth and nose, and look at her chest. Look for signs of breathing. Feel her neck for signs of a pulse. If she has no pulse or breathing, begin CPR.

Step 5

Press both palms, one on top of the other, into her chest, just below the middle of her breasts. Press 30 times in about 20 seconds.

Step 6

Squeeze her nose closed and seal your mouth over hers. Breathe two one-second breaths into her mouth and lungs.

Step 7

Return to doing chest compressions, or let your partner do 30 more compressions, then back to the breaths. Continue this pattern until help arrives.

Step 8

Share with the responders what you know about the woman and her pregnancy so they can determine if a Cesarean section is necessary to save the baby.

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