Chapter 10: Giving good care in labor and birth
This book explains some ways to act quickly and treat bleeding, shock, and other
emergencies. Make sure you are trained and ready to help with as many of these
emergencies as possible.
Transport women to a medical center
There are some problems during birth that midwives cannot help with at home or
in a small clinic. If a mother has very heavy bleeding, pre-eclampsia, very long
labor, high fever, or other serious problems, a midwife may not be able to save
her life. At these times, the mother is in serious danger, and the midwife must help
her get to a medical center immediately.
A woman or baby having a serious problem
needs a well-equipped medical center with
tools, medicines, and experienced health
workers. Even if you treat a woman with a
serious problem at home, it is a good idea to
get medical help to be sure she is OK.
Before the birth, help each mother and her
family make a plan for how to get to a medical
center. See page 106 for some ideas. Know
where the closest hospital is. Make sure there is
transportation (like a truck and someone to
drive it) and money to pay for fuel and services. (If she does not have money, you
should still get medical help in an emergency.) See Chapter 24 for more on how to
work with hospitals and health workers.
Keep a record of what happens
If you can, write down everything that happens during the labor and birth. Write
how often the mother eats, drinks, and urinates. Write down her pulse,
temperature, and blood pressure whenever you
check it. This record will help you see if the labor
is going normally. If you have to bring the
woman to a medical center, it will help the
doctors understand what happened and why. If
you have charts for all of the women you help,
you can look them over and find out what made
most women’s labors easier or harder and
whether they had early signs of problems.
A Book for Midwives (2010)