100 Pregnancy and Childbir th
and after, be alert
for danger signs in
the mother and baby.
Seek help if you think
there is a problem.
Showing your wife that you care about her can help her both
physically and emotionally. Make sure she has help with her
work. If you cannot do some of the work yourself, get someone
else to help. Make sure she eats healthy foods and goes for
prenatal care (see page 68). Get tested and treated for STIs,
including HIV. If you have HIV, use condoms during sex.
You can help your wife have a safe labor and birth by:
• making sure there is enough water and food in the house.
• bringing her midwife or health worker to the house to help
with the birth, and making sure transport is available in case
of an emergency.
• taking care of the other children.
If you stay with her during the birth, you can help by giving
her both emotional and physical support. Encourage her and
tell her she is doing well. Give her water to drink. Help her
walk or squat during contractions or rub her back.
The first 6 weeks after birth are the most important time
for a woman to feel strong and healthy again. During this time
she needs a lot of healthy foods and plenty of rest. You can
help her rest more by doing some
of her work—like fetching water or
fire wood, taking care of your other
children, or preparing meals. If you
cannot help, try to find someone else
If you take time to hold and care
for your baby, your wife will have a
chance to sleep and you can be close
to your new child.
Do not have sex until the bleeding
stops to prevent an infection in her womb.
To have healthy mothers and babies, it is best to wait at least
2 years between pregnancies. One of the most important ways
you can help your family be more healthy is by using family
planning. Visit the family planning clinic with your wife and
decide together which method will work best. Then share the
responsibility for using it.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012