|Immediate Care of the Mother Following Birth|
The first few hours following the successful birth of the
baby and afterbirth is sometimes known as the 4th
stage of birth or labour .
Immediately after its delivery, the placenta should be
examined carefully to detect abnormalities (infarcts, haematomas, abnormal
insertion of the umbilical cord), but above all to ensure that it is complete.
If there is a suspicion that part of the placenta is missing, the uterine
cavity needs to be explored.
The mother should be also observed carefully during the
first hour postpartum. The most important observations include the amount
of blood lost, and uterine contraction, since if the uterus contracts
insufficiently, blood may accumulate in the uterine cavity. If the blood
loss is abnormal and the uterus is contracting poorly, gentle abdominal
massage of the uterus can be helpful. It is essential to ensure that uterine
contraction is not inhibited by the presence of a full bladder. , defined by the WHO
[ 1 ]
as abnormal blood loss more than 500 ml, should be treated with oxytocics .
The mother's blood pressure, pulse and temperature, and general well-being
should be assessed.
At this stage, any tears in the cervix or vagina and the
incision (if performed) are stitched. The mother, baby and partner are
now moved to the recovery room and for the next few hours are closely
monitored, as many complications may arise in this period.
The information in this page is presented in summarised form and has been taken
from the following source(s):
Care in Normal Birth: A Practical Guide. Report of a Technical Working Group,
World Health Organisation, Department of Reproductive Health and Research, 1999.
(def;articles & more)