Preparing for Labor and Bir th 79
Helping a woman give birth
If you are pregnant, read this information to know what to
expect during labor and after the baby is born. It will also make
you better able to help other women during birth.
If you are helping a woman give birth, reassure the mother
so that she will not be afraid. Remember that most babies are
born without problems. Stay calm and cheerful, and let her
know that you trust her ability to give birth.
• Keep your nails clean and cut short.
• Wash your hands with soap and clean water. Let them dry
in the air.
• Know which women have extra risks and learn the ‘Danger
Signs during Pregnancy’ (see page 73). Make sure the
mother gives birth in a health center or hospital if she has
any of these risks or danger signs.
• Learn the ‘Danger Signs during Labor’ (page 85). Take the
woman to a hospital if she has any of these signs.
• Treat her with kindness and respect.
IMPORTANT Protect yourself
from HIV and hepatitis by wearing
clean gloves during a birth. If you
do not have gloves, use washed
• Do not put your fingers or anything else in the woman’s
vagina. Checking how much the womb has opened does
not help the baby to be born, and may cause a dangerous
• Do not give any medicine to speed up labor or to make
labor stronger. These medicines can kill the mother and the
baby. (Medicines that cause the womb to contract should
only be used to stop bleeding after the baby is born.)
• Do not tell her to push before she is ready. When it is time
for the baby to be born, she will feel like she has to pass
stool and will start pushing on her own.
• Do not push on the outside of her womb to make the
baby come out faster. This can tear her womb or cause the
placenta to separate from the womb too soon. Both the
mother and the baby can die.
➤ For safe childbirth
practice the 3 cleans:
1. Clean hands
2. Clean place to
3. Clean tool to
cut the cord
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012