The Next Chapter

Posted on

By: Faisal Siraj, Young Champion of Maternal Health

This blog post was contributed by Faisal Siraj, one of the fifteen Young Champions of Maternal Health chosen by Ashoka and the Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth. He will be blogging about his experience every month, and you can learn more about him, the other Young Champions, and the program here.

This month went very quickly. I am really happy that finally I got a chance to talk to all the Young Champions through a conference call. It was a very nice experience, where we got an opportunity to talk, share and listen to each other. I got disconnected mid-way through because the electricity shut down but I am still I happy I met all the Young Champions virtually.

This month took me a bit longer to complete my task because I got a virus in my laptop and my files disappeared which took me quite a while to retrieve. I completed chapter 8 of safe motherhood practices for health workers and traditional birth attendants. Following is an outline of the chapter.

The First Stage of Labor: Monitoring and Management

  1. Objectives
    When you have completed this unit you should be able to:
    a. Monitor and manage the first stage of labor
    b. Evaluate accurately the progress of labor
    c. Know the importance of the alert and action lines on the partogram
    d. Recognize poor progress during the first stage of labor
    e. Systematically evaluate a patient to determine the cause of the poor progress in labor
    f. Manage a patient with poor progress in labor
    g. Recognize patients at increased risk of prolapse of the umbilical cord
    h. Manage a patient with cord prolapse
  2. Dilation
    It is the diameter of the opening of the cervix in labor. It is expressed in centimeters or finger breadths; one finger breadth is approximately 2 cm. At full dilation the diameter of the cervical opening is 10 cm. Generally it is seen that the examiner makes mistakes in assessing whether patient is fully dilated or not. I tried to focus on how to avoid those mistakes during assessment.
  3. Assessing the Presenting Part
    The presenting part is usually the head but may be the breech, the arm, or the shoulder. This section describes correct assessment of the presenting part on vaginal examination.
  4. Determining the Position of the Presenting Part
    It is generally observed that the traditional birth attendants find difficulties in the positioning of the presenting part of baby during labor. This section is specifically addressing this issue.

This month is going to be busy because I am preparing for Nigeria and I am really very excited. Hope everything goes well.