Delivery of the head

Figure 5.8 Assisting the delivery of the baby's head.

Wash your hands well and put on sterile gloves and other protective materials.

Clean the perineal area using antispetic and (if you have them) put clean drapes (cloths) over the mother's thighs.

Press one hand firmly on the perineum (the skin between the opening of the vagina and the anus). This hand will keep the baby's chin close to its chest — making it easier for the head to come out (Figure 5.8). Use a piece of cloth or gauze to cover the mother's anus; some faeces (stool) may be pushed out with the baby's head.

Use your other hand to apply gentle downward pressure on the top of the baby's head to keep the baby's head flexed (bent downwards).

Once the head has crowned, the head is born by the extension of the face, which appears at the perineum.

Clear the baby's nose and mouth. When the head is born, and before the rest of the body comes out, you may need to help the baby breathe by clearing its mouth and nose. If the baby has some mucus or water in its nose or mouth, wipe it gently with a clean cloth wrapped around your finger.

Last modified: Monday, 14 July 2014, 2:26 PM