BirthWorks Class: Sterilizing Instruments, Estimating Blood Loss and Finding Your Path to Midwifery

October 5, 2017


Estimating Blood Loss

  • Bleeding is a normal occurrence during childbirth, but it is important to understand how much is okay during labor and after birth.

  • Overestimating blood loss can lead to unnecessary interventions which pose more risks to the mother and/or baby.

  • Underestimating blood loss can lead to a delay in lifesaving hemorrhage interventions.

  • Postpartum hemorrhage is the loss of more than 500 cc of blood after birth.


Amounts are measured in cc (cubic centimeter) or ml (milliliter) 1 cc = 1 ml


1 T. = 15 cc            ½ C. = 125 cc         1 C. = 250 cc             2 C. = 500 cc       

¼ C. = 60 cc          ¾ C. = 175 cc        1 ½ C. = 275 cc        4 C. = 1000 cc

Methods of Sterilizing Instruments and their Pros and Cons

Cleanse + 320’ oven (2hours)

Quick, easy, kills bacteria & inexpensive

Does not kill all contaminants. Not completely sterile.


Cleanse + Boil (30 min) + 170’ oven

Easy, Kills all contaminants & inexpensive

Boiling breaks down instruments.


Cleanse + 15psi Pressure Cooker (15min) + 170’ Oven

Kills all contaminants & slightly inexpensive

Requires more equipment + time.


Autoclave Machine

Quick, easy, kills all contaminants

Highly expensive


Preferred Method: Cleanse + Pressure Cooker + Oven

*Supplies needed: Clean Bristle Brush (firm toothbrush), Miltex Instrument Cleaner, Miltex Spray Lube, Water, Paper Towels, Gloves


Phase 1: Clean

  1. Gather instruments and set up supplies

  2. Rinse instruments

  3. Prepare solution

  4. Scrub instruments thoroughly with brush

  5. Rinse thoroughly

  6. Pat dry

  7. Lube well

  8. Place in sterile pouches & put away

Phase 2: Steam

  1. Gather instruments (in pouches) and prepare pressure cooker

  2. Place supplies in pressure cooker

  3. Cook at 15psi for 15 minutes

Phase 3: Dry

  1. Place in warm oven (170’)

  2. Allow oven to dry out pouches completely

  3. Cool and put away instruments


Midwifery Path Tips

                -Gather and read required books             

                -Become a birth doula

                -Become a childbirth educator

                -Connect with the birth community

                -Gather quality supplies when on sale

                -Print, read and fill out NARM forms and CIB

                -Remember you are unique and your path will be unique

Resources * * * aspiring midwives FB *

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