There are a number of discomforts that can be felt during pregnancy. This is the time when the body is just starting to adjust to the pregnancy, and hormones are still in chaos. The woman must be educated on how to reduce these discomforts to help her come to terms with this changes slowly.
Constipation is caused by slow peristalsis due to the pressure from the growing uterus.
Management to reduce constipation.
-Women are encouraged to move their bowels regularly and increase their fiber diet and also advise her to take in alot of water.
-Advise her to drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water every day.
-Women are often educated to take in iron supplements evwn though they can cause constipation but it should not be stopped because it helps build up fetal iron stores.
-Enemas are also prohibited because it may start and hasten labor.
-Women are normally advised to avoid gas-forming food to prevent excessive flatulence.
2. Palmar erythema.
is the constant itching and redness of the palms but is not considered an allergy. Increased estrogen levels possibly cause the pruritus.
Management to reduce palmer erthema.
-Women are educated the allergy developed. Lether know its an allergy that normally occur during pregnancy.
-To soothe the itchiness, calamine lotion can be applied. It will naturally disappear once the body has adjusted to the high level of estrogens.
3. Breast tenderness.
is one of the first symptoms that the woman would notice in early pregnancy. The tenderness may vary between women; some hardly notice the sensation at all.
Managment to reduce breat tenderness.
-Expectant mothers a adviced to wear bra with wider shoulder straps. The support it gives helps reduce the tenderness.
-They are advised to avoid cold and dress warmly in other not to be exposed to cold to reduce tenderness.
-Women who experience intense pain should visit the hospital to be examined the presence of nipple fissures or breast abscess to rule out these conditions.
4. Nausea and Vomiting.
Nausea and vomiting are also one of the earliest symptoms of pregnancy. Heartburn occurs when the woman eat large meal.
Managment to reduce nausea and vomiting.
-Advise the woman to take small, frequent meals and avoid greasy foods.
-Women are often encouraged to sit down for a while after eating to avoid reflux.
Pregnant women experience fatigue mostly in early and late pregnancy stage because of increasing metabolic reactions.
Management to reduce Fatigue.
-Women are advised to increase the amount of rest and sleep and to continue with her normal nutrition intake.
-Women who still work are advised to take short breaks.
6. Muscle Cramps
Muscle cramps are caused by decreased serum calcium levels and increased phosphorus levels
Management to reduce muscles cramps.
-Women are advised to lie on their back and straightened their affected leg.
-A gel is prescribed to women who have frequent and unrelieved muscle cramps.
-The woman should elevate her lower extremities frequently to promote circulation.
Varicosities are visible veins seen on the skin surface caused by the pressure of the uterus to veins at the lower extremities.
Managment to reduce varicose veins.
-Women are advised to rest on their back with the legs raised against the wall.
-Discourage sitting with legs crossed or knees bent and the use of tight knee-high hose.
-The use of elastic support stockings is advised to relieve varicosities.
-Exercise is also effective through taking walk breaks from chores or from standing or sitting for too long.
-Vitamin C is also recommended to reduce varicosities for the formation of blood vessel collagen.
When women lie on their back and the uterus presses upon the vena cava, supine hypotension might occur, impairing blood return to the heart and oxygen supply to the baby in the womb is also reduced.
Managment to reduce hypotension.
-Advise women to rest or sleep on their left side to keep adequate supply of oxygen to the baby.
-Encourage her to rise slowly and sit at the edge of the bed for some few minute before getting up and should be shaking her feet in the process.
-Avoid standing for a long period of time.
Hemorrhoids are the protruding form of varicosity of the rectal veins that occur because of the pressure of the veins from the weight of the uterus.
Management to reduce hemorrhoids.
-Advise women to frequently empty her bowel. -Encourage the woman to assume a knee-chest position for 10-15 minutes at the end of the day to relieve the pressure on the rectal veins.
-Stool softeners are recommended for women already having hemorrhoids.
-The pain of hemorrhoids could also be relieved by applying witch hazel or cold compresses to external hemorrhoids.
10. Heart Palpitations.
Heart palpitations may occur when upon sudden movement the woman experiences bounding palpitation of the heart. This is mainly due to circulatory adjustments necessary to accommodate her increased blood supply during pregnancy.
-Advise the woman to move slowly to prevent heart palpitations.
11. Frequent Urination.
The pressure of the uterus on the bladder causes frequent urination. Frequency occurs early and late pregnancy.
Management to reduce frequency in urination.
-Advise the woman not to restrict her fluids to diminish the frequency of urination because that might also cause dehydration.
-Let the woman know that voiding frequently is a normal occurrence during pregnancy.
-Kegel’s exercise also helps to reduce the incident of stress incontinence and helps regain the strength of urinary control and strengthens perineal muscles for birth.
The last trimesters of pregnancy also have their set of discomforts that you have to differentiate from complications that might arise.
Lumbar lordosis develops as pregnancy progresses to maintain the balance.
-Advise the woman to wear shoes that are low to the ground to reduce the amount of spinal curvature necessary to maintain an upright position.
-Backache can be relieved by applying local heat on the area.
-Advise the woman to squat rather than bend over to pick up objects and hold objects close to their body.
Dyspnea (that's difficulty in breathing) results from the pressure of the expanding uterus on the diaphragm. Dyspnea is prominent especially when the woman lies flat on the bed at night.
-Encourage the woman to sleep with her head and chest elevated with the help of pillows.
-Advise her to limit her activities during the day to prevent.
Late in pregnancy, some women experience swelling of the ankles and feet. The edema is caused by general fluid retention and reduced blood circulation in the lower extremities. They would also need pillows to elevate their feet when sleeping. Avoid sitting for a long period.
Look out for preeclampsia or eclampsia.
Woman are assessed for hypertension or proteinuria to rule out eclampsia.
-Advise the woman to lie on her left side when resting or sleeping to prevent fetal distress.
-Encourage her to sit half an hour in the afternoon and in the evening with legs elevated and to avoid tight clothing.
Always reassure a pregnant woman that her pregnancy is healthy. These discomforts may cause panic, especially if she lacks knowledge about the physiology of pregnancy.
It is the role of the midwife to educate, guide and be there for her whenever she needs you throughout the pregnancy.
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