A worst-case scenario for expectant mothers is giving birth during a hurricane, and for those in Florence’s path, it might be a reality.
Pregnant women are among those most at risk during a hurricane and there are steps they can take to prepare in the event they can't get to a hospital in time, including putting together their own emergency home birth kit.
Dr. Jeffrey Stinson is an OB-GYN at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, North Carolina, and said some women might have to give birth at home.
"The roads and traveling conditions are not safe, so if they do go into labor the safest thing to do for themselves and their baby is to stay at home," he said.
All the supplies for an at-home birthing kit are available at drug stores. Among the recommended items, according to the White Ribbon Alliance, are:
- 10 surgical pads
- Sterilized scissors
- Alcohol pads.
If you don’t have those supplies, there are alternatives around your home, according to Dr. Lisa Masterson, an OB-GYN in Los Angeles.
"Once the baby is delivered, you can just tie off the umbilical chord with a shoelace," she said. "Babies pretty much deliver themselves. It is because of complications you want to be in the hospital."
Preparedness is important because the decrease in barometric pressure during hurricanes can actually cause a woman in her final weeks of pregnancy to go into labor.
Susan Pedaline, a chief nursing officer at Cone Health Women's Hospital In Greensboro, North Carolina, told Inside Edition that when a storm is coming, the staff knows to brace themselves.
"As the clouds open up, we are going to get patients coming through our doors," she said.