2.3  Physical examination in labour

When you physically examine a woman in labour, your focus will be on her abdomen, vagina and cervix, so remember to:

  • Maintain her privacy
  • Follow the principles of woman-friendly care (see Box 2.1)
  • Examine her comprehensively (head to toe)
  • Look for signs of anaemia (paleness inside the eyelids, pale fingernails and gums)
  • Look for yellowish discoloration of the eyes (jaundice), which indicates liver disease.

2.2.4 Danger signs and symptoms

2.3.1  Inspection of the abdomen