Chapter 15: The first weeks after the birth
Watch the mother’s womb and bleeding
Healthy signs After the birth, the mother should bleed about the amount of a
normal monthly bleeding or less. Her bleeding should stop after 2 or 3 weeks but
may last as long as 6 weeks.
Her womb should be firm and get smaller and smaller each day.
Wa r nin g s ig n s
• Womb feels soft or large.
• Mother bleeds a lot.
• Mother has signs of shock.
Check this chart to see where the top
of the womb should be after the birth.
The mother’s womb
If the womb gets soft, rub it until it is
firm (see page 224). Show the
woman’s family how they can rub the
womb when you are not there. Ask
the mother to breastfeed more often,
and watch for too much bleeding.
Also, feel the womb to be sure it is
going down to its normal size. Just
after birth, the womb is about
halfway between the pubic bone and
the bellybutton. The next day, it
grows to the height of the bellybutton,
and should shrink every day after that.
The mother’s bleeding
If the mother soaks more than 1 pad in an hour, she is probably bleeding too
much. Rub the womb to help it contract. Remind the family that the mother needs
to rest. Working
too much often
Let me take care
after a birth.
of the baby
while you get a
little more rest.
If these methods do not work, give medicines to stop bleeding (see page 231).
If the bleeding continues, or if the mother has signs of shock, get medical help
A Book for Midwives (2010)