After the birth of the placenta, the mother’s body should start to recover from
labor. The baby should breathe normally and start to keep herself warm.
The midwife should stay for a few hours after the birth to make sure the mother
and baby are healthy, and to help the new family to eat and rest.
What to do for the mother
Check the mother’s physical signs
Check the mother’s temperature, pulse, and blood pressure regularly — at least
once an hour if she is having any health problems.
Clean the mother’s genitals, belly, and legs
Help the mother clean herself after the birth. Change any dirty bedding and
wash blood off her body.
Wash your hands and put on gloves before
you touch the mother’s genitals, just as you
did before the birth (see pages 53 to 55).
Clean the mother’s genitals very gently, using
very clean water and a sterile cloth. If you have
some disinfectant, like betadine, add a little to
the water. Do not use alcohol or any other
disinfectant that might sting the mother.
You can use a little mild soap or even salt
if you do not have disinfectant.
Wash downward, away from the vagina.
Be careful not to bring anything up from the
anus towards the vagina. Even a piece of stool
that is too small to see can cause infection.