This section describes a few tools you can make to help with your work
as a midwife.
If you do not have a watch or clock, you can make a simple timer to measure the
number of heartbeats or breaths in a minute. None of these timers are as accurate
as a clock, but they work fairly well. (When you first make the timer, you will need
to use a clock to measure the length of a minute.)
A sand timer consists of a tube of glass closed at both
ends, with a narrow neck in the middle. It is partly filled
with fine sand. The sand runs from the upper to the lower
half in an exact period of time.
Egg timers, or 3-minute sand timers, can be purchased
at low cost in some areas. To use one, count the number of
heartbeats or breaths for 3 minutes, and then divide by 3 to know the number
of heartbeats or breaths a minute. You can also use this timer to tell when
contractions are 3 minutes apart.
1-minute sand timer
To make a 1-minute sand timer, follow these steps:
1. Heat the middle of a
glass tube over a
Bunsen burner or other
small, very hot flame.
2. Stretch the tube to
make a thin neck
in the middle.
3. Seal one end of
the tube by