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I came across this article, "Cinematographer and Midwife Travel World But Return to Marin" and in there, we learn the midwife, Suellen Anderson-Miller, travels the globe teaching health care professionals in developing nations how to use the LifeWraps... a neoprene full-body wrap that can stop life-taking hemorrhages after childbirth.

The LifeWrap costs about $175 and can be used up to 50 times.

Question: Why don't homebirth midwives have these? How come I've never heard of them before? Is this something midwives are interested in carrying?

I sure would be. 

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Reader Comments (12)

These look sorta like MAST pants. They used to be used by EMS for any hemmorrhage. The idea was to squeeze all of the the blod up to the head and chest until definative treatment could be reached.

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRachael

I'd certainly feel a lot safer if I could carry one around in my birth gear......and I'd hope I'd never have to use it.

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterColleen, LM

I love Suellen! We got to hear her speak about these when I was a grad student at Berkeley. So exciting!

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChe

right on. great thinking to carry one in the birth bag!

March 19, 2011 | Unregistered Commentershannon

These were developed (I believe by MacArthur Foundation) to help prevent maternal death in situations where hospitals are too far away. The reason you haven't heard much about them is because they're still in the research and development stage, as I understand it. There are a few articles about the garments on MacArthur's website... (http://www.macfound.org/site/c.lkLXJ8MQKrH/b.2351709/apps/nl/content2.asp?content_id={C411C1FD-A7D5-40E7-9759-B9CA21C3E27D}&notoc=1)

March 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

Homebirth midwives practicing in an urban/suburban setting, with quick (30 mins or less) access to a hospital don't need these. They need 911 and a quick ride in an ambulance. Homebirth midwives practicing in rural areas, or places where the hospital is further away, might want to consider carrying something like this.

March 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

I don't know anything about this, but I had a totally unrelated comment/question.
On the Dr Oz show last week (might have been March 11), they were doing "amazing" 911 calls, and one was with a couple and the father delivered their baby in the car. The 911 dispatcher told him to tie off the umbilical cord using his shoelace, to "prevent transfer of blood" (or something similar). Isn't this outdated and even dangerous? I think of how gross my shoelaces get....

March 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTracyKM

Yeah, I wrote a piece about that before.

"Those Darned Shoelaces"


March 21, 2011 | Registered CommenterNavelgazing Midwife

You might want to look at this post on the shoelace protocol over at The Unnecesarean.


My husband used to work for the company that creates the standardized 911 protocols used in many emergency dispatch centers all over the world. He wrote a few comments on that post, as well as this subsequent "Comment of the Week" post (http://www.theunnecesarean.com/blog/2011/2/23/comment-of-the-week-changing-9-1-1-protocol-standards-for-ch.html), including how to go about trying to get this protocol changed. Unfortunately, the Academy that creates the protocols isn't very receptive to suggestions from lay people, but if you are or know a 911 dispatcher, there is an official way to suggest a change to protocol. Follow the above links and read the comments for more information.

March 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMissy

Thanks for those links; I have a friend who just became a paramedic, and I used to read a knitting blog written by a 911 dispatcher, so I'll email them that info.
I hadn't actually watched to the end of the clip on Dr Oz until just now. Dr Oz asked the paramedic what made him think to suggest using a shoelace to tie off the cord and that 'saved the baby's life' (the baby was already crying!!). Gah. The paramedic said he had heard it in a conversation during training.

March 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTracyKM

I have heard of using a full body neoprene dive suit for hemorrhage.

March 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKristina

@ Karen
Sorry, but for someone who is bleeding to death, a 30 minute delay is TOO LONG.
Depending on the severity of the bleed (and a lot of moms with PPH bleed like stuck pigs, pardon my french)
and on how long it took for the bleed to get discovered (no bloody sheets, at least not right away, if you bleed into the uterine cavity and the exit is blocked)
....well, then you can quite comfortably bleed to death in 15 minutes or less.

I think these neoprene wraps will save a LOT of lifes in 3rd world settings, where access to a hospital can be difficult!

July 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnda

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