5.1.3  Clean the mother’s belly, genitals and legs

A mother’s genital area is cleaned with soap and hot water.
Figure 5.2  Washing the mother’s genital area is part of core postnatal care at the first visit.

Help the mother clean herself after the birth. Change any dirty bedding and wash blood off her body. Always wash your own hands first and put on surgical gloves before you touch the mother’s genitals, just as you did before the birth. This will protect her from any bacteria that may be on your hands. Clean the mother’s genitals very gently, using soap and very clean water and a clean cloth (Figure 5.2). Do not use alcohol or any other disinfectant that might irritate her delicate tissues. Wash downward, away from the vagina. Be careful not to bring anything up from the anus toward the vagina. Even a piece of stool that is too small to see can cause infection.

5.1.2  Check if her uterus is contracting normally

5.1.4  Check for heavy bleeding (haemorrhage)