Help the mother give birth
Stool in the amniotic waters (green or yellow)
If the waters were green or yellow, it means the baby passed stool in the womb. If
stool gets into the baby’s lungs it can damage them. You can tell if the baby is in
danger of this happening by the baby’s condition when he is born.
If the baby is in good condition you can give him directly to his mother’s
• strong (good muscle tone, not floppy)
• breathing or crying
• heartbeat over 100 beats per minute
If the baby needs help, you must suction his mouth and throat before he
• weak and floppy, like a doll
• not breathing
• heartbeat less than 100 beats per minute
The best way to suction the baby is to use a suction trap, but you can also use a
bulb syringe (see the next page). Whatever you use must be sterile (see page 59 for
how to sterilize tools).
To make a suction trap
You need a small jar, a stopper that fits snugly into the top of the jar, and some very
thin, soft tubing that can be cleaned easily. Sterilize the tubing before and after you
Make 2 holes in the stopper.
The holes should be just
big enough to push the
Push one tube through
the hole until it is just
below the stopper.
Push the second tube
through until it almost
touches the bottom of the jar.
To use a suction trap
First put the tube that goes to the bottom
of the jar in the baby’s mouth. It should go
no more than 10 centimeters (4 inches)
down the baby’s throat.
Suck on the other tube while you wiggle
the first tube around in the baby’s mouth.
The fluid in the baby’s mouth or nose will go
into the jar but not into your mouth. After you
clean the baby’s mouth, clean the baby’s nose in the same way.
A Book for Midwives (2010)