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How to Perform the Heimlich Maneuver on a Pregnant Women

By Contributor ; Updated July 27, 2017

How to Perform the Heimlich Maneuver on a Pregnant Women. While you can perform the Heimlich Maneuver on a pregnant woman, you must use a modified version to avoid harming the woman or the fetus. You can also perform this modified Heimlich Maneuver on a very obese person if you find you can't wrap your arms around his torso.

How to Perform a Modified Heimlich Maneuver on Pregnant Women

Ask, "Are you choking?" Stay calm, and try to keep the victim calm as well.

Point to a specific person and tell him to call 911. Instruct the person to tell the operator that someone is choking. Don't just call out for anyone to call 911, as bystanders may freeze or panic in emergency situations.

Ask the victim whether she is pregnant, unless it is obvious. Using the standard Heimlich Maneuver can harm a fetus even in early stages of pregnancy, when the woman doesn't appear to be pregnant.

Position yourself behind the choking woman.

Lean the victim forward slightly and tilt her head downward, allowing gravity to help you dislodge the stuck food.

Wrap your arms around the victim with your arms under her armpits.

Make a fist with one hand.

Place your fist with the thumb against the center of the victim's breastbone.

Cover your fist with your other hand.

Apply chest thrusts against the center of the woman's breastbone. Chest thrusts should be firm and move inward and downwards.

Continue giving chest thrusts until the victim can breathe, medical help arrives or the woman loses consciousness.

Cover the victim to keep her warm once the object is expelled, and stay with her until medical help arrives.

Tips

In general, women are more likely than men to try to hide choking or coughing in a public setting. However, if you suspect someone might be choking, follow her and be ready to give assistance. If the woman can cough or talk, wait with her and encourage her to cough.

Warnings

Performing chest thrusts incorrectly can damage the victim's ribs or lungs. Do not perform the Heimlich Maneuver until you are certain that the choking person cannot expel the stuck object on her own. Do not give any sort of liquid to a choking victim. Do not hit a choking victim on the back, as you can force objects further down the victim's throat.

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