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Teaching materials

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HealthWiki > A Book for Midwives > Chapter 25: Homemade tools and teaching materials > Teaching materials


This section tells how to make some materials for teaching about women’s bodies, pregnancy, and birth. These materials can be used when teaching other midwives, pregnant women and their families, or people in the community who want to learn about women’s reproductive health. Most people learn more easily using these types of teaching materials than they would learning only from a book.

Contents

3 basic methods for making teaching materials

Copying a pattern

tracing a pattern from a book.

Some of these teaching materials include patterns for making models. To copy a pattern, put a thin sheet of paper over it. If possible, tape it down lightly so it does not move around. Then trace the pattern onto the thin paper. Remove the thin paper and pin or tape it on the cloth or cardboard you are going to cut out.

Making a slide into a poster

Put a large piece of paper or a large cloth on a wall. Then put a slide into a slide projector and shine the picture onto the piece of paper or cloth. Trace the picture exactly. Once you have the outline, color it in.


Making models out of papier maché

Papier maché is a good material for making models of parts of the body. For example, if you want to make a model of a baby’s head, use a balloon or some dry, crumpled newspaper in a plastic bag.

Then make a paste of flour and water. Dip strips of newspaper or other paper in it, and layer the strips over the balloon. Make several layers and let it dry. It dries well in the sun. Paint the outside so it looks like a baby’s head.

Models of a pelvis, womb, and vagina

A paper pelvis

You can make a simple model of the pelvis using a piece of stiff paper or thin cardboard.

  1. First, make a pattern by tracing the shape below on thin paper.
  2. Fold the piece of stiff paper in half.
    Then put this side of the pattern along the fold.
    a pattern for tracing a paper pelvis.
    a woman’s leg bone would attach here
    Darken this area in step 3.
    Cut out this area in step 3.
  3. back view
  4. Cut the paper along the edges of the pattern, then unfold the paper. Draw a dark spot on each side to show where the leg bones go. Cut out the holes here.


  5. hip bone
    pubic bone
  6. Bend the paper around and join the ends together to make a pubic bone in front. Be sure to keep the dark spots on the outside. To keep the front of the pelvis round, put a thin strip of cardboard across the inside of the pubic bone. Gently curl the hip bones (at the top on each side) back.



  7. side view




  8. Bend the tailbone back.


  9. Then curl it forward.

  10. tips
  11. Fold the little tips so that they point inward.


You can use this pelvis with a doll to show how a baby passes through a woman’s pelvis to be born.

A womb and vagina made from cloth

The womb





1. To make a non-pregnant womb, cut 2 pieces of cloth this size.
Stretchy material is best. (If you do not have stretchy material, cut the
material a little larger than this picture.)
a pattern in the shape of a womb.
2. Put the womb pieces together
and sew along the dotted line.
Leave the top end open.
illustration of the above and below: sewing the pieces together.
Leave this end open — right sides are on the inside.
3. Turn the womb inside out. 4. Stuff the inside of the womb
(almost to the top) with
soft material.
Stuff up to here.
5. Put a plastic straw or tube of
cloth out each side of the top
of the womb, like this:
6. Stuff more soft material
in the top.
7. Sew the top closed, and make a
fringe on the ends of the tubes,
like this:
8. Make 2 small cloth balls this shape
to show the ovaries, where the
mother’s eggs are made.
Stuff them with soft material.
2 oval-shaped cloth balls.
9. If you are using a plastic straw
to show the tubes, sew a strong
string to one ovary.
10. The finished womb should
look like this:
the cloth womb with tubes and ovaries attached; the bottom is the cervix.
ovary
cervix
Put the string through the straw
and attach it to the other ovary.
If you are using cloth tubes,
sew one ovary to each end.



The vagina
1. Cut a piece of material this size and shape:
a pattern that, when folded, will make a tube shape.
2. Sew a little soft wire or
plastic along the flat edge
of the material.
3. Fold the material together to
make a tube. Sew, leaving a
small opening just big enough
to fit the cervix of the womb into.
the tube with a small opening near the bottom.
small opening
4. Sew a piece of
cloth here.
a small piece of cloth covering the upper part of the opening.
5. Turn the tube so the right sides
face out. Make a knot here to
show the clitoris. Make a dot or a
hole to show the urethra (opening
that urine comes out of).
the small piece of cloth with a knot above a hole.
clitoris
urethra
6. Attach the womb to the vagina
by putting the
bottom of the
womb into the
opening in
the vagina.
Using the model

Here are a few ways you can use this model in teaching:

1. Students can put their fingers into
the vagina and feel the cervix.
2. You can hold the
womb in front of
your belly so
people understand
where the womb is
in the body.

3. You can show how to stop
a hemorrhage after birth.
Fold the womb over a board
or stick to show how to
press the womb against
the pubic bone.

A model of pregnancy: the womb, placenta, cord, and baby

A womb made from a gourd



1. Look for a gourd shaped like this:
a gourd that is wide at the bottom and narrow at the top
2. Make a hole in the bottom
and open the top.
hole
3. Make a simple doll from cloth.
Make the doll small enough to fit
inside the gourd. Use a small piece
of rope or string for the cord, and
a small pillow for the placenta.
placenta
cord
(See another way to make a doll.)
4. Put the doll inside the
gourd. You can glue the
placenta to the inside wall
of the gourd.


5. Make a vagina out of a tube of
leather, cardboard, rubber, or
some other material. Make a hole
in the top. Leave one end open
and sew the other end closed.
6. Put the bottom of the womb into
the hole in the top of the vagina.
Perhaps you can
find some way
to prop it up.
a a tube with a hole near the end that is closed.
Leave this end open.
Make a
hole here.
Sew this end closed.
7. If you want to show an open cervix,
make another gourd womb with an
open bottom, like this:

A womb made from cloth

1. Cut 2 pieces of material this shape. The material should be about 33 centimeters (13 inches) long. It should be about 27 centimeters (10 ½ inches) wide at the top and about 15 centimeters (6 inches) wide at the bottom. Stretchy material is best.
width of womb shape at top and bottom.
27 cm
15 cm
length of womb shape.
33 cm
2. Cut a circle of red cloth the same size as the placenta. Sew it
to one of the womb
pieces. This circle
shows the spot
where the placenta
is attached.
illustration of the above: where to attach the placenta.
3. Put the sides of the womb together and sew like this:
the 2 sides sewn together with the bottom open.
Leave this end open.
4. Turn up the open end and sew a seam. Leave enough space for a drawstring to fit inside. This will be the cervix. 5. Turn the womb right side out. Put a drawstring or a piece of elastic through the seam at the bottom.
seam


The placenta
1. To make the placenta, cut 2 pieces of cloth in a big circle. The circles should be at least 22 centimeters (8 ½ inches) across. They do not have to be exactly round.
22 cm
2. To make the membranes (the bag of waters), use thin material you can see through.
Cut the material about 30 centimeters (12 inches) wide and about 72 centimeters
(28 inches) long.
illustration of the above, showing width and length of membranes.
30 cm
72 cm
3. Lay one of the circles face down on the middle of the thin cloth. Sew the circle down, leaving a space around the edge. 4. Turn the thin cloth over. Fold the thin cloth carefully away from the edge of the circle and pin it down so it is entirely contained in the circle. Leave the edge of the circle sticking out.
5. Put the other circle face down over the first circle and folded thin cloth. Sew almost all the way around, leaving a small opening.
illustration of the above: 2 circles sewn together.
opening
6. Turn the circles inside out. Take
out the pin, and the membranes
will open up.
7. Sew the opening closed
the placenta being stuffed before it is sewn closed.
Stuff the placenta with some soft
material like foam rubber, old rags,
or dried grass.
8. Turn the placenta to the side that has no thin cloth over it. This is the bottom of the placenta — the side that is attached to the womb wall.
If you like, quilt the bottom to
show the segments in the
placenta. Do not let the quilting
go through to the top side of
the placenta. The top should be
smooth.
illustration of the above: the quilted placenta.
quilt line on bottom
smooth top
9. Let the thin material hang down, and sew the sides together to make a tube. 10. Turn up the bottom of the tube
and sew it, leaving a space that
a drawstring can fit through.
Thread a drawstring through
the bottom of the tube.
placenta
membranes

The cord

1. Cut a long piece of cloth about 52 centimeters (20 inches) long and 8 centimeters (3 inches) wide.
illustration of the above, showing length and width of cloth.
52cm
8cm
2. Fold the material together, lengthwise, and sew along the edge.
3. Turn the material inside out. Stuff it with something soft, just as you stuffed the placenta.
Put stuffing in
Sew ends closed
4. To show the arteries and vein in the cord, wind 3 thick strings or pieces of yarn around the cord and sew them down so they do not get tangled. Two of the strings should be the same color. If possible, cover the cord with a piece of thin material like you used for the membranes, so it looks like this:
illustration of the above: the cord with strings around it.
the cord with thin cloth covering the strings.
5. Sew one end of the cord onto the top side of the placenta (the side covered with thin material). Draw veins on this side of the placenta with a felt tip or ink pen. 6. Attach the other end of the cord to a doll.
You can sew the cord to the doll or fasten it with a safety pin.
the cord attached to the placenta.
veins
cord
placenta
To show the baby inside the bag of waters, put the doll into the bag and close the drawstring. To show the bag breaking, open the drawstring.

The baby

Although any doll can be used as a baby, the best kind of doll has a hard head and a soft body. If you are making a doll, follow these instructions:

1. Make a hard head with a hollow center from papier maché. Paint a face on the head, and then paint on the soft spots or suture lines.
illustration of the above: baby's head.
soft spot
suture lines
2. Sew a life-size body for the doll, with a round head a little smaller than the hard head you just made. Stuff the cloth with foam rubber, rags, or dried grass, so that it looks like a baby’s body. Then stuff the cloth head into the hollow center of the hard head.
If papier maché is not easy to use, you can try this way of making a hard head. Stuff the body and face with soft material, then stuff the top of the head with one of these: a gourd; a hard ball; a smooth, round piece of wood; or a round stone.
sewing the head closed after stuffing it with a round stone.

Using models to teach

To show how the baby, placenta, and membranes fit inside the womb, put the baby inside the membranes with the placenta, then put the membrane bag into the womb. Put the bottom of the placenta up against the red circle inside the womb and pin it with a pin.

1. Pull the drawstring to close the cervix.
2. Then open the drawstring so the baby can be “born.” (If you want to show that the waters have broken, open the drawstring on the membranes.)
3. Take off the pin and squeezethe placenta out to show the birth of the placenta. 4. Explain that the red circle inside the womb is like an open wound that bleeds. Squeeze the womb to show how it must contract to stop the bleeding.

A model of birth: the birth box and birth pants

The birth box

To demonstrate birth, cut and paint a cardboard box to look like a woman’s body. Make a hole that the doll can fit through. Make a belly out of the front flap of the box and breasts out of the back flap.

To make the box more real, you can put it on a cot under a cloth or blanket. Put a doll above the box on the cot so it looks like a woman, then have someone lie underneath the cot. This person can push up on the box to show contractions and make panting and moaning sounds as if giving birth.

Or you can put the womb and vagina you made in the birth box to give people an idea of how the womb and vagina fit in the body.



The birth pants

Birth pants give a more real view of birth. Cut a large old pair of pants with a hole for the vaginal opening. Then have a woman wear the birth pants over her clothes and act like a woman in labor. The woman then pushes a doll hidden in her own clothing out through the hole in the birth pants.


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