Pregnant women make part of the population that requires sensitive nursing when both in and out of the hospitals. They require guidance and frequent check-up to prevent any risks that may harm them and their unborn babies (Abu-Ghanem et.al, 2012). It is important to note that the prenatal stage entails both psychological and physical preparation associated with giving birth and becoming a parent. It entails learning about parenthood for the parents and the individuals around them. The period also allows medical practitioners with the opportunity to have an impact on family health (Abu-Ghanem et.al, 2012). Various scholars have presented different views regarding the nursing care for pregnant women.
According to the National Institute of health (2017), pregnant women require adequate guidelines and care by which the healthcare interventions promoted by nurses may influence the safety of the mother and the unborn baby in addition to the individuals that surround her for quite some time. The frequent prenatal visits that occur immediately after the menstrual period are significant as they ensure that the health of both the mother and the baby are stable (National Institute of health, 2017). The visits allow the assessment and treatment of medical conditions or rather maternal disorders that may have existed before or may occur during the gestation period. The associated care is structured in the sense that it allows making frequent checks on the development of the fetus in addition to assessing any abnormalities that may risk the whole pregnancy. It is advised that the pregnant women and the people around her to acquire support regarding parental skills and managing stress. The estimated period of pregnancy is nine months of the calendar. However, medical practitioners employ lunar months by which one lunar month is twenty-eight days and hence pregnancy taking about ten lunar months. In describing the initial, middle and the last stages of pregnancy, the medical practitioners use trimesters. The beginning trimester begins from the first week to the thirteenth week; the second begins from week fourteen to the twenty-sixth while the last trimester begins from the twenty-seventh week to the fortieth week. A woman is expected to be due between week thirty-eight and forty (National Institute of health, 2017).
A clinical guideline in the care for pregnant women is the ingestion of prenatal vitamins. It is the responsibility of medical practitioners to advice pregnant women on engaging in healthy diets. Prenatal vitamins assist in occupying the nutritional gaps that pregnant women may have. The vitamins contain minerals such as iodine, folic acid, calcium and iron. The minerals assist in brain development of the fetus in the sense that they prevent the occurrence of defects in the neural tube that may affect the spinal cord and the brain (Petrenko, 2017).
Another clinical guideline is the identification and management of pre-eclampsia. Pre-eclampsia is a condition where the mother experiences high blood pressure and has a high amount of protein in the urine and hence resulting in complications for both the mother and the unborn child. It is one of the factors causing an increases in mortality rate. It is advisable for medical practitioners to carry out screening and the articulate the necessary measures to prevent women who are at risk, from experiencing pre-eclampsia. Obesity surgery is considered one of the best strategies that protect both the mother and the baby. Medical practitioners are expected to frequently monitor the blood pressure in addition to preventing seizures from occurring through the intake of magnesium sulfate. Turner (2010) explains that the most effective solution is the delivery of the placenta and the fetus. She states, Timing of delivery depends on several factors, including gestational age, fetal lung maturity, and most importantly, disease severity. Anesthetic management includes regional anesthesia with careful evaluation of the patient's airway, volume status, and coagulation status to reduce morbidity and mortality, (Turner, 2010).
Family involvement is also an important clinical guideline when it comes to medical care of pregnant women. It is important for medical practitioners to involve family members during prenatal care. Petrenko (2017) in the article, Nursing care during pregnancy. Childbirth and Perinatal education' puts into perspective satisfying the needs of the family that is expecting throughout the prenatal period. The prenatal period, in this case, refers to the whole period of pregnancy before the child is born. She explains that adequate care is required in both physical and emotional aspects as positive or negative impacts may be experienced which may last for a long period of time. In regards to adapting to pregnancy she states, Pregnancy affects all family members, and each family member must adapt to the pregnancy and interpret its meaning in light of his or her own needs. This process of family adaptation to pregnancy takes place within a culTtural environment that is influenced by societal trends, (Petrenko, 2017). In other words, pregnancy does not only affect the parents but also the people that surround the parents in regards to the associated needs. For adequate primary care, the scholar states that the nurse has to establish a good relationship with the pregnant woman and the individuals around her. A part of being a social context for the patient, the family members assist in recalling and making judgments regarding the care given to patients (Petrenko, 2017).
Preconception care is also put into perspective as a clinical guideline that entails care for the well-being of a couple before pregnancy (Berghella et.al, 2010). The idea is to recognize areas such as lifestyles, health issues in regards to family medical history and genes and other issues that might negatively affect the unborn child when conceived. The care assists in decreasing immense pregnancy implications such as low birth weight, births that are preterm, infant mortality and maternal mortality. The risks are mostly affiliated to women at the reproductive age who tend to smoke, consume alcohol, consuming folic acid supplements, are obese, have the habit of taking over-the-counter drugs in addition to the presence of preexisting medical issues. Obtaining preconception care allows necessary interventions that limit the occurrence of the risks. It is perceived that most women with unplanned pregnancies fail to attend the first prenatal care because of not accepting the condition. The delayed visits may risk the pregnancy in terms of acquiring congenital abnormalities and other complicated conditions. It is, therefore, advisable for individuals wanting to get pregnant to receive preconception care (Berghella et.al, 2010).
Another guideline entails substance abuse amongst pregnant ladies whereby nurses have to exercise adequate care for the safety of the mother and the unborn child. Niccoli et.al (2015) explain that using crack and other forms of drugs may interfere with pregnancy such that one may experience premature delivery, miscarriages, and a decrease in the growth of the fetus. Also, babies that are born risk acquiring disabilities or mental issues that may affect their entire life and the people in their environment. For example, crack, when ingested by a pregnant woman, it goes through the placenta without experiencing any metabolism such that it affects the vascularization of the fetus which in return causes malformation of the central nervous system, cardiovascular muscles and the urogenital. The scholars state, Drug manipulation throughout the gestational time has a multifactorial etiology, as it is linked with risk causes such as low self-esteem, insufficient provision systems, socioeconomic obstacles, participation in abusive affiliations and earlier history of psychiatric illnesses, (Niccoli et.al, 2015). Therefore, it becomes imperative for medical practitioners to support self-care for pregnant women who seek recovery, rehabilitation, good health in addition to social integration. The scholars describe self-care as engagements by individuals for their benefit in terms of well-being and having good and healthy lives. The view is that by following a certain model, actions become more effectively such that a person develops in a more comprehensive manner. From a general perspective, the scholars explain that the use of psychoactive drugs has been on the rise and hence the need for interventions by medical practitioners to ensure that women take care of themselves and their pregnancies instead of suffering from the associated consequences (Niccoli et.al, 2015).
According to Hootman (2004), there are myriad strategies that may be employed in taking care of pregnant women by nurses. He puts into perspective women who are still in school with the view that they face a lot of pressure when they get pregnant. If the diagnosis by a nurse entails complications in regards to delayed prenatal care and pre-pregnancy health conditions, there is a need for ensuring confidentiality, encouraging the involvement of family, providing medical care in addition to monitoring progress. The view is to make the patient understand the significance of medical care.
Another issue is the maintenance of good health in situations where the patient engages in poor diet or engages in substance abuse such as smoking or consuming alcohol. The possible interventions include; giving warnings on the associated complications and encouraging the intake of healthy foods such that the patient remains healthy during the pregnancy (Hootman, 2004). The idea is to assist the patient to feign from substance abuse, allow the patient gain weight in addition to making the patient see the need for frequent medical checkups.
Anxiety in regards to unplanned pregnancy, financial constraints, lack of support and the body image is also another issue that may affect pregnant women. The possible interventions include; identifying ways in the community that the patient may gain support and encourage the development of the relationship between the woman and the father of the baby; in addition to motivating the patient to engage in verbalization. The view is to allow the formation of a financial relationship between the patient and the hospital in addition to the patient conversing with individuals who have had similar experiences (Hootman, 2004).
Another issue entails dropping out from school in regards to needs associated with child-care, complications brought about by the pregnancy, rejection, and societal judgments (Hootman, 2004). The possible interventions include; giving information on other educational opportunities, working with the school team to allow a smooth transition in regards to the prenatal stage, delivery and when the student will resume studies in addition to encouraging studies.
One more issue is causing harm to the fetus as a result of complications during pregnancy, conflict in a relationship and delay in obtaining prenatal care. The possible interventions include providing medical and emotional support, assessing signs of depression, giving advice on protective laws, including guardians during treatment in addition to encouraging articulation. The idea it to prevent the occurrence of injuries, encourage the patient to receive prenatal care, and allow the development of adequate problem-solving skills that assist the patient in dealing with conflicts (Hootman, 2004).
As stated earlier, various scholars have presented different views regarding the nursing care for pregnant women. The associated clinical guidelines include the use of prenatal vitamins, management of pre-eclampsia, the need for involving family members or close friends during pregnancy by the medical practitioners, the significance of preconception care in regards to the health of the woman and the baby, and the need for encouraging self-care for pregnant women affected with substance abuse such that they focus on developing healthy habits and taking care of their unborn children. Also, recommendations to medical practitioners on handling the pressures that pregnant women face have also been presented by which medical and mental aspects have been considered. In synopsis, adequate care is needed during the prenatal period for the safety of both the mother and the unborn child.
Abu-Ghanem, S., Sheiner, E., Sherf, M., Wiznitzer, A., Sergienko, R., & Shoham-Vardi, I. (2012). Lack of prenatal care in a traditional community: trends and perinatal outcomes. Archives of gynecology and obstetrics, 285(5), 1237-1242.
Berghella, V., Buchanan, E., Pereira, L., & Baxter, J. K. (2010). Preconception care. Obstetrical & gynecological survey, 65(2), 119-131.
Hootman, J. (2004). Quality nursing intervention in the school setting. Castle Rock, CO: National Association of School Nurses Inc.
National Institute of Health,. (2017). What is prenatal care and why is it important?. Nichd.nih.gov. Retrieved 13 April 2017, from https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/pregnancy/conditioninfo/Pages/prenatal-care.aspx
Petrenko, N. (2017). Nursing care during pregnancy. Intranet.tdmu.edu.ua. Retrieved 13 April 2017, from http://intranet.tdmu.edu.ua/data/kafedra/internal/ginecology2/classes_stud/en/nurse/bsn/ptn/4/Nursing%20Care%20of%20Childbearing%20Family_Practicum/09.%20Nursing%20Care%20during%20pregn.htm
Turner, J. A., (2010). Diagnosis and management of pre-eclampsia: an update. International Journal of Woments Health, 2, 327t337.
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