I have a pregnant student in my CPR class. What do I do?
An Instructor recently submitted an ‘Ask the Expert’ question about a pregnant student in her class. The Instructor wanted to know, “I have a pregnant student signed up for my class. Is there a cut off recommended for teaching chest compressions/recovery positions to pregnant attendees?”
The answer about pregnant students varies…
CPR and AED training requires vigorous practice, and the requirements for successful course completion are the same for all students. It’s hard to say what a pregnant student can or cannot tolerate. Everyone is a bit different, so it’s impossible to make a blanket recommendation.
The best person to advise a pregnant student about activity levels is her physician.
Only the pregnant student’s physician can advise how much and what types of activity are tolerable. If the pregnant CPR student experiences any pain or discomfort, stop the training and complete it later. If a woman is experiencing a high-risk pregnancy, she should delay CPR training until after her pregnancy.
In the past I’ve had pregnant students who did fine, and one who got sick from rolling around on the floor! That said, for positioning practice – position the woman on her left side to keep the weight of the baby from compressing the mother’s inferior vena cava and decreasing blood flow back to the heart.
Allow reasonable modifications…
… such as practicing compressions on a table so the student doesn’t need to get down on the floor, and providing additional rest breaks during practice.