Check the mother’s body
Mother gains weight suddenly
If a mother gains weight suddenly near the end of her pregnancy, it may be a sign
of twins (see page 143) or pre-eclampsia (see page 125).
Check the mother’s temperature
Healthy signs Temperature is close to 37°C (98.6°F). Woman does not feel
Wa r nin g sig ns Woman has a fever — a temperature of 38°C (100.4°F) or
above. Woman feels hot-to-touch.
How to check the temperature
Put the back of one hand on the woman’s forehead, and
the other on your own or that of another healthy person.
If the woman has a fever, you should be able to feel that
her skin is hotter than that of a healthy person.
If you have a thermometer, clean it well with soap and
clean water or alcohol.
the thermometer reads
Put the thermometer under the tongue and leave it there for
3 minutes. The woman should keep her mouth closed.
Take the thermometer out
and turn it until you see the
silver line. The point where
the silver stops marks the
There is usually a little
arrow at the “normal” point.
Always clean the thermometer with soap and cool water or with alcohol after
you use it. Do not use hot water — it can break the thermometer!
Glass thermometers are filled with mercury, a very poisonous metal. Be
careful with glass thermometers, and if they break, do not pick up the
mercury with your bare hands. Sweep the mercury into a jar
and bury it. Do not let children play with
thermometers or mercury. Get a
digital thermometer if you can.
A Book for Midwives (2010)