Chapter 15: The first weeks after the birth
Watch the mother for signs of vaginal infection
Healthy signs Any tears in the vagina are healing, and the skin is not
swollen or hot.
Wa r nin g s ig n s
• Pain in the vagina
• Pus or a bad smell from the vagina
• Swelling, redness, or a hard lump in the vagina
An infection of the vagina is not as dangerous as a womb infection.
Wash your hands well, put on gloves, and
look at the woman’s vagina. If you see
any of the warning signs listed here, she
probably has an infection. If you see pus,
check to be sure the pus is not coming
from high inside her vagina. If it is, she
probably has a womb infection.
If the pus is coming from a hard
lump or tear on the woman’s genitals,
get medical help, or follow these instructions
to drain the pus yourself.
To drain the pus
Warm, wet cloths will usually draw out pus.
If the tear is open
Hold sterile cloths dipped in boiled
warm water on the infected area.
If you know plant medicines that will
draw out pus, wrap them in a sterile
piece of cloth or gauze, and tie the cloth
so the plants cannot fall out. Boil the
wrapped plants, let them cool a little,
and then press on the infected area.
If you feel a hard lump under the skin
If you feel a hard lump, pus or blood is probably trapped inside. Watch the lump
each day. If it is painful or growing larger, get medical help.
A Book for Midwives (2010)