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Abdominal examination: visual inspection

Abdominal examination: visual inspection


In order to fully assess a woman, the midwife needs to be able to perform an abdominal examination accurately. This is more than just palpation; other elements need also be considered, such as a full inspection of the abdomen and taking an accurate history.

Learning aims and objectives

This resource aims to provide information to enable midwives to perform an abdominal examination in the form of a visual inspection. It stresses the importance of a good woman-midwife relationship and the part communication plays in that. The need to gain consent is central to this aspect of care.

On completion of this resource, you should have an understanding of:

  • The role of visual inspection in the abdominal examination
  • The different elements to observe when inspecting an abdomen
  • The importance of good communication and rapport with a woman

Keywords and linking topics

Antenatal care, intranatal care, auscultation, history taking, abdominal examination

A case-based scenario and a series of questions are provided at the end of this resource in order for you to test your knowledge of visual inspection. In the following questions, please select the answer that you believe to be correct. This will be marked and then you can move on to the next question. If you wish, at the end you can return for a further attempt at the questions.

Upon completion of the module, you will be able to download and save or print a certificate to include in your CPD/revalidation portfolio..