What are Some of the Essential Tools & Machines Used by a Midwife?

Updated March 23, 2017

While many modern moms opt to have their babies in a medical-equipment-rich hospital, others prefer a midwife-assisted birth. Midwives are trained in the art of childbirth and commonly attend to births both in women's homes as well as in birthing centres. While these child delivery assistants do not often use many of the more complex medical tools that doctors use when delivering babies, they depend on an assortment of tools and machines to ensure mom and baby safety.

Sterile Gloves

Midwives use sterile gloves when dealing with infection-prone new infants or checking the mother during the labouring process. These hand-covers reduce the likelihood of disease transmission and are designed to keep all parties safe.

Umbilical Clamp

Midwives carry small, often plastic, umbilical clamps to tie off the umbilical cord's life-giving connection between mom and baby after the child has been delivered successfully.

Umbilical Scissors

After clamping the umbilical cord, midwives use umbilical scissors to clip the connection and separate the mother from her newborn infant.

Suction Bulb

Upon delivery of the baby, midwives use a suction bulb to remove debris and fluids from the new baby's mouth and nasal passages. This tool allows the midwife to clear the child's airway rapidly and lets him take his first breaths with increased ease.

Sterile Baby Receiving Kit

Many midwives use disposable sterile baby receiving kits, which include wraps into which they can place the new child. These kits not only allow the midwife to clean the new infant without the risk of infection but also their disposability allows for easy cleanup.

Contraction Monitor

Some midwives carry portable contraction monitors to strap around the midsections of labouring moms to monitor the strength of the contractions the woman is experiencing to ensure that labour is progressing at an acceptable pace.

Fetal Heart Monitor

A fetal heart monitor is a valuable tool of the midwifery trade as it allows the midwife to monitor the heart rate of the child as he progresses through the birthing process. By carefully monitoring the baby's heart rate, the midwife can detect and rapidly respond to any potential infant distress.

Birthing Tub

Some women find comfort in going through labour in a pool of water. For these women, midwives often offer a birthing tub that can be set up in the mother's home or the birthing centre. Mothers can labour and even deliver in this pool to increase their comfort during the childbirth process.

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About the Author

Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.