Chapter 7: Learning a pregnant woman’s health history
Families save lives
Partners and family are usually the key to a good emergency plan. Find out if the
woman needs permission to get medical help in an emergency. For example, if the
community expects the husband to give the woman permission to go to a medical
center or hospital, he should do so during the pregnancy, so that if he is away
during the birth there will be no delay in getting life-saving care.
Teach the husband, mother-in-law, or other close family members the
warning signs that mean a woman must be taken to get medical help.
Warning signs in pregnancy and birth — get medical help fast!
• bag of waters breaks early, and labor does not start
within 24 hours (see pages 174 to 175)
• labor is too long —
longer than 24 hours
(see page 186)
(see page 125)
• infection (see page 178)
• heavy bleeding
(see page 224 to 226)
Making a transport plan
Any woman can have serious problems that require medical help. If a woman has
heavy bleeding, an infection, pre-eclampsia, or some other serious problem during
labor or birth, she may have a difficult time getting emergency care. A family with
no car who lives far from medical help may have no way to get there. They may be
poor and afraid they will be unable to pay what the local hospital demands.
We must make sure
there is a way for
Devi to get to the
hospital if necessary.
If everyone waits until a problem
arises to think about how to get medical
help, there may not be a solution. But
with planning before the birth — while
the woman is still pregnant — the
woman, her family, her midwife, and her
community can make a plan that can
save the life of the woman or her baby.
Make a transport plan before the birth
with each woman. Involve her family
and community in making the plan.
A Book for Midwives (2010)