Chapter 5: Preventing infection
Most plastic gloves can be boiled or steamed, but some will fall apart in the water.
Get strong gloves that can be boiled and reused a few times.
Before boiling or steaming gloves, turn the cuff inside
out. After sterilizing a glove, touch only the inside part of
it. If you touch the outside, it will not be sterile anymore.
Only touch the
inside of the glove.
If the gloves you have cannot be boiled, wash them
carefully and soak them in bleach or medical alcohol. Then
rinse them in clean water before using them again.
Mucus bulb (bulb syringe)
When you wash out a mucus bulb, make sure to fill it with soapy water
and then squeeze the water out. Do this several times. Then rinse it out well.
If you sterilize the mucus bulb by boiling, make sure to let water into the
inside of the bulb before boiling and then squeeze out all the water afterward.
Many people get sick with serious illnesses like hepatitis or HIV from using
Reusable syringes and disposable syringes
Reusable syringes can be used again and again. Reusable syringes make less waste
and can save money, but they must be washed very carefully and sterilized after
Disposable syringes are
made to be thrown out
after one use. Some
disposable syringes can be
taken apart, boiled or
steamed, and reused several
times. But we do not
recommend this, because
needles that are not
completely sterilized can
How to wash and sterilize a syringe
and needle for reuse:
1. Put on a pair of
heavy gloves to
protect your hands
2. Draw 5% bleach solution
(see page 57) up through the
needle into the syringe barrel.
3. Squirt out the bleach solution.
Never reuse a needle
or syringe without
sterilizing it first!
4. Repeat several times. Rinse
everything several times with clean water.
5. Take the syringe and needle apart and
boil or steam them. (See page 62.)
A Book for Midwives (2010)