Chapter 22: Helping a woman after a pregnancy ends early
Do not blame the woman for being sick
Some people think that women get sick because they deserve to be sick.
For example, some midwives think that women who have miscarriages lose their
pregnancies because they are bad people. Others think that women who get sick
after abortion are being punished for having the abortion. The truth is that no one
deserves to be sick, and everyone deserves to be cared for when they are sick.
Blaming women for their own sickness does not help them become healthy.
Physical care after a pregnancy ends
Check the woman’s physical signs — like
her temperature, pulse, and the amount she
is bleeding. This will tell you what kinds of
medical help she needs.
• Mild pains or cramps in the lower belly
for a few days.
• Light bleeding (up to the same
amount as normal monthly bleeding)
for a few days or very light spotting for
up to 2 weeks.
Wa r nin g s ig n s
• Strong cramping in the
• Swollen or hard lower belly.
• Heavy bleeding, large clots of
blood, or bleeding for more
than 2 weeks.
• Bad smell from the vagina.
• High temperature, 38°C (100.4°F)
• Fast pulse, over 100 beats a minute.
• Feeling very nauseated.
• Feeling faint or dizzy.
You should also ask her about this pregnancy.
Find out how long she was pregnant. A woman whose miscarriage or abortion
happened early in her pregnancy is easier to help than a woman whose
miscarriage or abortion happened later. If a woman was pregnant for more than
3 months and is now having problems, get medical help.
A Book for Midwives (2010)