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What is an obstructed labour? Watch our training film for midwives

Obstructed labour is one of the most common causes of death during childbirth in developing countries. Labour is considered obstructed when the baby cannot descend through the pelvis, despite strong uterine contractions, which leads to wide-ranging and dangerous complications for both the mother and newborn.

Medical Aid Films is delighted to launch Obstructed Labour: An Introduction for Midwives. This film was filmed at the Gynocare Centre in Eldoret, Kenya, with funding from the Vitol Foundation. It explains the main causes of obstructed labour, what happens during obstructed labour, how signs of obstructed labour can be identified, and steps to be taken for effective management. The film follows Kandie, a midwife at the clinic, as she monitors a mother in early labour, and a mother with suspected obstructed labour.

The film was reviewed by our medical advisor and midwife Zoe Vowles; Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine’s Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health; and midwifery advisor Terri Coates (who previously advised on the BBC ‘Call the Midwife’ series.)

A huge thanks to our review team and the staff and patients at Gynocare Centre for their support.

Obstructed labour is especially prevalent in rural areas, particularly among women who are in labour at home for a long time. It is vital that women can access skilled care in childbirth, and that those health workers have the necessary skills to identify and manage obstructed labour when it occurs. This film aims to provide valuable support for midwife training across sub-Saharan Africa.