Postpregnancy Genital Tract and Wound Infections


  • Nell Tharpe CNM, CRNFA, MS

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    • Nell Tharpe, CNM, CRNFA, MS, is president of Midwife Publications, Inc, and adjunct faculty at the Midwifery Institute of Philadelphia University, Philadelphia, PA and Birthwise Midwifery School, Bridgton, ME.

P.O. Box 348, East Boothbay, ME 04544. E-mail:


Despite the widespread application of standard aseptic techniques during vaginal birth, cesarean birth, and/or termination of pregnancy, postpregnancy infections remain a significant source of maternal morbidity and mortality. Obstetric infection accounts for more than 12% of maternal deaths. Infection occurs most frequently in women who have cesarean births, and following spontaneous or elective termination of pregnancy. Infection is estimated to be the second highest cause of under-reported maternal death in the United States. This article identifies measures to aid in primary prevention and recognition of obstetric infections in order to facilitate early diagnosis and treatment.