What medical centers and hospitals can provide
Tools for helping sick babies
In places where there are few medical services, many babies
who are born sick cannot get help. But a well-equipped
hospital will have some resources for helping sick, small, or
An incubator is a box to keep a small or sick baby warm.
Like many medical tools, it can be used too
often. Most babies are best kept warm in their
mother’s arms, next to their mother’s skin.
An oxygen tent or oxygen hood gives the baby extra oxygen.
This can help a baby who is having trouble breathing.
A respirator helps a very sick baby breathe.
A feeding tube runs down a baby’s nose and
into her stomach. This is used when a baby is too weak
to breastfeed. The hospital may give the baby
formula through the tube, but usually breast milk
removed by hand is better (see page 285).
Heart monitors and other measuring devices stick to the
baby’s body to measure heart rate and other health signs.
Medical centers need community support
Every community should have a medical center with adequate supplies.
At the least, a medical center should have skilled health workers and
some basic tools for saving lives, including oxygen, certain medicines, and
sterile equipment for doing basic surgeries. But sadly, most hospitals and
health clinics do not have all the supplies they need.
Some communities do not
have enough money to spend
on hospitals or health care.
And many communities
choose to spend their money on
making war or to benefit those
who are already rich instead of
meeting the basic
health needs of
Is there anything
that midwives can do
to change this?
Too many medical centers,
clinics, health posts, and
hospitals do not have
what they need to
provide basic health care.
A Book for Midwives (2010)