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Neonatal Assessment Guide

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					1. acrocyanosis- A blue or purple mottled discoloration of the extremities, esp. the fingers,
   toes and/or nose. This physical finding is associated with many diseases and conditions,
   such as anorexia nervosa, autoimmune diseases, cold agglutinins, or Raynaud’s disease
   or phenomenon. Cyanosis of the extremities may be commonly observed in newborns
   and in others after exposure to cold temperatures, and in those patients with reduced
   cardiac output. In patients with suspected hypoxemia, it is an unreliable sign of
   diminished oxygenation.

2. Moro- or startle reflex- a reflex seen in infants in response to stimuli, such as that
   produced by suddenly striking the surface on which the infant rests. The infant responds
   by rapid abduction and extension of the arms followed by an embracing motion of the
   arms.

3. cephalhematoma- a mass composed of clotted blood, located between the periosteum
   and the skull of a newborn. It is confined between suture lines and usually is unilateral.
   The cause is rupture of periosteal bridging veins due to pressure and friction during
   labor and delivery. The blood reabsorbs gradually within a few weeks of birth.

4. caput succedaneum- diffuse edema of the fetal scalp that crosses the suture lines. Head
   compression against the cervix impedes venous return, forcing serum into the
   interstitial tissues. The swelling reabsorbs within 1 to 3 days.

5. ductus arteriosis- a channel of communication between the main pulmonary artery and
   the aorta of the fetus.

6. ductus venosus- the smaller, shorter, and posterior of two branches into which the
   umbilical vein divides after entering the abdomen of the fetus. It empties into the
   inferior vena cava.

7. fontanel-anterior and posterior-where located?-why?-shape?- an unossified membrane
   or soft spot lying between the cranial bones of the skull of a fetus or infant.

    Anterior- the diamond-shaped junction of the coronal, frontal, and sagittal sutures; it
    becomes ossified within 18 to 24 months.

    Posterior- the triangular fontanel at the junction of the sagittal and lambdoid sutures;
    ossified by the end of the first year.

8. foramen ovale- The opening between the two atria of the fetal heart. It usually closes
   shortly after birth as a result of hemodynamic changes related to respiration.

9. molding- shaping of the fetal head to adapt itself to the dimensions of the birth canal
   during its descent through the pelvis.

10. erythema toxicum- (papules, 24-28 hr.-newborn rash) a benign, self-limited rash
    marked by firm, yellow-white papules or pustules from 1 to 2 mm in size present in



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    about 50% of full-term infants. The cause is unknown, and the lesions disappear without
    need for treatment.

11. chemical conjunctivitis- most common eye infection- of the conjunctiva usually caused
    by chemical burns.

12. vernix caseosa- a protective sebaceous deposit covering the fetus during intrauterine
    life, consisting of exfoliations of the outer skin layer, lanugo, and secretions of the
    sebaceous glands. It is most abundant in the creases and flexor surfaces. It is not
    necessary to remove this after the fetus is delivered.

13. lanugo- fine downy hairs that cover the body of the fetus, esp. when premature. The
    presence and amount of lanugo aids in estimating the gestational age of preterm
    infants. The fetus first exhibits lanugo between weeks 13 and 16. By gestational week
    20, it covers the face and body. The amount of lanugo is greatest between weeks 28 and
    30. As the third trimester progresses, lanugo disappears from the face, trunk, and
    extremities.

14. milia- white pinhead-size, keratin-filled cyst. In the newborn, milia occur on the face
    and, less frequently, on the trunk, and usually disappear without treatment within
    several weeks.

15. telangiectatic nevi or hemangioma- (stork bite) a benign tumor of dilated blood vessels.

16. Mongolian spots- bluish-black areas of pigmentation may appear over any part of the
    exterior surface of the body. Commonly noted whose ethnic origins are in the
    Mediterranean area, Latin America, Asia, or Africa

17. Apgar (know scoring)- a system for evaluating an infant’s physical condition at birth.
    The infant’s heart rate, respiration, muscle tone, response to stimuli, and color are rated
    at 1 min, and again at 5 min after birth. Each factor is scored 0,1, or 2; the maximum
    total score is 10. Interpretation of scores: 7 to 10, good to excellent; 4-6, fair; less than
    4, poor condition. A low score at 1 min is a sign of perinatal asphyxia and the need for
    immediate assisted ventilation. Infants with scores below 7 at 5 min should be assessed
    again in 5 more min; scores less than 6 at any time may indicate need for resuscitation.
    In depressed infants, a more accurate determination of the degree of fetal hypoxia may
    be obtained by direct measures of umbilical cord oxygen, carbon dioxide partial
    pressure, and pH.

18. Silverman (respiratory function test)- 5 evaluations – what are they? – (handout)

    1. Upper chest. 2. Lower chest. 3. Xiphoid retractions. 4. Nares dilation.

    5. Expiratory grunt. Graded 0, 1, 2




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19. pseudomenstruation- withdrawal bleeding after birth, a scant vaginal discharge that
    reflects the physiological response of some female infants to an exposure to high levels
    of maternal hormones in utero.

20. tonic neck reflex- (“fencing”) –with infant facing left side, arm and leg on that side
    extend; opposite arm and leg flex (turn head to right, and extremities assume opposite
    postures).

21. colostrum- high in?-breast fluid that may be secreted from the second trimester of
    pregnancy onward but that is most evident in the first 2 to 3 days after birth and before
    the onset of true lactation. This thin yellowish fluid contains a great number of proteins
    and calories in addition to immune globulins.

22. neonate- from birth through 28h day of life.

23. bilirubin – normal? Why higher in neonate?- normal <5 mg.dl. (usually drop to 1 mg/dl).
    Neonatal jaundice occurs because the newborn has a higher rate of bilirubin production
    and the reabsorption of bilirubin from the neonatal small intestine is considerable.

24. physiologic jaundice – when?- 50-80% of all full-term newborns are visibly jaundiced
    during the first 3 days of life.

    Term: appears after 24 hours and disappears by the end of the 7th day.

    Preterm: evident after 48 hours and disappears by the 9th or 10th day.

25. phenylketonuria- a congenital, autosomal recessive disease marked by failure to
    metabolize the amino acid phenylalanine to tyrosine. It results in severe neurological
    deficits in infancy if it is unrecognized or left untreated. PKU is present in about 1 in
    12,000 newborns in the US. In this disease, phenylalanine and its byproducts
    accumulate in the body, esp. in the nervous system, where they cause severe mental
    retardation, seizure disorders, tremors, gait disturbances, coordination deficits, and
    psychotic or autistic behaviors. Eczema and an abnormal skin odor also are
    characteristic. The consequences of PKU can e prevented if it is recognized in the first
    weeks of life and a phenylalanine restricted (very low protein) diet is maintained
    throughout infancy, childhood, and young adulthood.

26. petechiae- (pinpoint rash) small, purplish, hemorrhagic spots on the skin that appear in
    patients with platelet deficiencies (thrombocytopenias) and in many febrile illnesses.

27. kernicterus- a form of jaundice occurring in newborns during the second to eighth day
    after birth. The basal ganglia and other areas of the brain and spinal cord are infiltrated
    with bilirubin, a yellow substance produced by the breakdown of hemoglobin. The
    disorder is treated aggressively by phototherapy and exchange transfusion to limit
    neurological damage. The prognosis is quite poor if the condition is left untreated.




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    28. nevus flammeus- (port-wine stain) – a large reddish-purple discoloration of the face or
        neck, usually not elevated above the skin. It is considered a serious deformity due to its
        large size and color. In children, these have been treated with the flashlamp-pulsed
        tunable dye laser.

    29. Epstein’s pearls – in infants, benign retention cysts resembling small pearls, which are
        sometimes present in the palate. They disappear in 1 to 2 months.

    30. umbilical arteries- (2) carry blood from the fetus to the placenta, where nutrients are
        obtained and carbon dioxide and oxygen are exchanged.

    31. umbilical vein- (1) oxygenated blood returns to the fetus through the umbilical vein.



ALTERNATE VOCAB LIST
                                    NEWBORN VOCABULARY LIST

Abdominal Circumference: measured by placing the tape around the newborn’s abdomen at
the level of the umbilicus with the bottom edge of the tape measure at the top edge of the
umbilicus.

Acrocyanosis: Cyanosis of the extremities. May be present in the first 2 to 6 hours after birth.
Condition is due to poor peripheral circulation which results in vasomotor instability and
capillary stasis, especially when the baby is exposed to cold. If the central circulation is
adequate, the blood supply should quickly return to the extremity after the skin is blanched with
a finger. If hands and nails are blue, face and mucous membranes should be assessed for
pinkness indicating adequate oxygenation.

Apgar Score: A scoring system used to evaluate infants at 1 minute and 5 minutes after birth.
The total score is achieved by assessing five signs: heart rate, respiratory effort, muscle tone,
reflex irritability, and color. Each of the signs is assigned a score of 0, 1 or 2. The highest possible
score is 10. See page 670 for further detail.

Behavioral States: States in the infant sleep/awake cycle. See below for specific states. Page
1115 has a great chart on behavioral states.

Sleep State: consists of deep or quiet sleep and light or active rapid eye movement sleep. In
deep or quiet sleep the baby has closed eyes with no eye movement, regular even breathing
and jerky motion or startles at regular intervals. Behavioral responses to external stimuli are
likely to be delayed. Startles are rapidly suppressed and changes in state are not likely to occur.
Heart rate may range from 100 to 120 bpm. In active rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the baby
has irregular respirations, eyes closed with REM, irregular sucking motions, minimal activity, and
irregular but smooth movement of the extremities. Environmental and internal stimuli initiate a
startle reaction and a change of state.

Active Sleep State: Same as light or active eye movement sleep


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Drowsy State: Infant may return to sleep or awaken further. Has smooth movements with
variable activity level. Eyes may open and close. Eyes may appear heavy lidded or may appear
like slits. May have no facial movement and appear still or may have some facial movements.
Breathing is irregular. Infant will usually react to stimuli but may be slowed. May change to
other states such as quiet alert, active alert or crying If infant left alone, may return to a sleep
state.

Quiet Alert State: Infant is attentive to environment, focus attention on stimuli. Body activity is
minimal. Eyes are bright and wide. Facial expression is attentive. Breathing is regular. Response
is most attentive, focus attention on stimuli. In the first few hours after birth, may experience an
intense alertness before going into a long sleeping period. This state increases in intensity as the
infant becomes older.


Active Alert State: Infant’s eyes are open but not as bright as quiet alert. More body activity
than quiet alert. Smooth movements may be interspersed with mild startles from time to time.
Eyes are open with a glazed dull appearance. Facial movements may be still with or without
facial movements. Breathing is irregular. Infant reacts to stimuli with delayed responses to
stimuli or may change to quiet alert or crying state. Infant may be fussy and become more
sensitive to stimuli, may become more and more active and start crying. If fatigue or caregiver
interventions disturb this state, infant may return to drowsy or sleep state.

Crying State: communication tool, response to unpleasant stimuli from environment or internal
stimuli. Characterized by intense crying for more than 15 seconds. Increased motor activity, skin
color changes to darkened appearance, red or ruddy. Eyes may be tightly closed or open.
Grimaces in facial expression. Breathing is more irregular than in other states. Indicates that the
infant’s limits have been reached. May be able to console himself or herself and return to an
alert or sleep state or may need intervention from caregiver.

Bilirubin: pigment which causes jaundice. Most jaundice is benign but due to potential toxicity
of bilirubin, jaundiced infants must be closely monitored. Accumulated bilirubin is due to
infant’s inability to balance the breakdown of red blood cells and the use or excretion of by
products. Phototherapy is used as treatment for newborn jaundice.

Brown Fat: Also known as brown adipose tissue (BAT). Fat deposits in newborns that provide
greater heat generating activity than ordinary fat. Found around the kidneys, adrenals, and
neck; between the scapulas and behind the sternum.

Caput Succedaneum: localized, easily identifiable soft area of the scalp.This generally results
from long and difficult labor or a vacuum extraction. Fluid is reabsorbed within 12 hours to a
few days after birth.

Cephalohematoma: a collection of blood resulting from ruptured blood vessels between the
surface of a cranial bone (usually the parietal) and the periosteal membrane. Emerges as a
hematoma between the first and second day. Relatively common in vertex births and disappear
within 2 weeks to 3 months. May be associated with physiological jaundice as extra red blood


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cells are being destroyed within the cephalohematoma. A large one can lead to anemia and
hypotension.

Chest Circumference: Should be measured with the tape measure at the lower edge of the
scapula and brought around anteriorly directly over the nipple line. The average is 32 cm or 12.5
inches with a range of 30 to 35 cm or 12-14 inches.

Circumcision: surgical removal of the prepuce (foreskin) of the penis.




Cold Stress: Excessive heat loss resulting in compensatory mechanisms (increased respirations
and nonshivering thermogenesis) to maintain core body temperature.

Colostrum: secretion from the breast before the onset of true lactation; contains mainly serum
and white blood corpuscles. It has a high protein content, provides some immune properties
and cleanses the newborn’s intestinal tract of mucus and meconium.

Conduction: Loss of heat to a cooler surface by direct skin contact. An infant could lose heat due
to conduction if subjected to chilled hands, equipment, scales, etc.

Convection: loss of heat from the warm body surface to cooler air currants. An example would
be an infant losing body heat because their crib is placed in an air conditioned room.

Crypytorchidism: failure of the testes to descend in a newborn male.

Ductus Arteriosus: A communication channel between the main pulmonary artery and the aorta
of the fetus. It is obliterated after birth by rising PO2 and changes in the intravascular pressure
in the presence of normal pulmonary functioning. It normally becomes a ligament after birth but
sometimes remains patent (patent ductus arteriosus, a treatable condition).

Ductus Venosus: A fetal blood vessel that carries oxygenated blood between the umbilical vein
and the inferior vena cava, bypassing the liver. It becomes a ligament after birth.

Epispadias: when the male urethral meatus occurs on the dorsal aspect of the penile shaft

Erythema Toxicum: Innocuous pink papular rash of unknown cause with superimposed vesicles:
it appears within 24 to 48 hours after birth and resolves spontaneously within a few days.

Evaporation: Loss of heat incurred when water on the skin surface is converted to a vapor. An
infant is subject to body heat loss by evaporation immediately following birth when still wet
with amniotic fluids or during bathing times.




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Fetal Circulation: Blood flow from the placenta flows through the umbilical vein, enters the
abdominal wall at umbilicus, through the ductus venosus directly into inferior vena cava (small
amount enters liver instead). Blood enters right atrium, passes through foramen ovale into left
atrium into left ventricle and into aorta. Some blood returning from head and upper extremities
by way of superior vena cava enters right atrium and passes through tricuspid valve into right
ventricle and small amount goes to lungs for nourishment only. Larger portion of blood passes
from pulmonary artery through ductus arteriosus to descending aorta bypassing the lungs.
Finally blood returns to the placenta via umbilical arteries and process is repeated.

Forman Ovale: Special opening between the atria of the fetal heart. Normally the opening closes
shortly after birth; if it remains open, it can be surgically repaired.

Head Circumference: Place the tape measure over the most prominent part of the occiput and
brought to just above the eyebrows. The measurement should be 32 – 37 cm or
12.5 – 14.4 inches or approximately 2 cm larger than chest circumference. If the infant
experienced significant head molding it is advisable to take another head measurement on the
second day.

Hyposadias: when the male urethral meatus occurs on the ventral aspect of the penile shaft.

Jaundice (pathological and physiological): Jaundice refers to the yellowing of the skin and sclera
frequently seen in newborns. Physiological jaundice refers to a normal process that occurs
during transition from intrauterine to extrauterine life and appears after 24 hours of life. Is a
common problem with newborns and may be treated with phototherapy. Pathological jaundice
is diagnosed in infants who exhibit jaundice within the first 24 hours of life, have a total serum
bilirubin concentration increase of greater than 0.2 mg/dL/hour, surpass the 95th nomogram for
age in hours or have persistent visible jaundice after 1 week of age in term infants or after 2
weeks in preterm infants.

Latch On: refers to positioning needed for a newborn to properly breast feed. Mother and infant
should be properly positioned in order to achieve optimal attachment. Infant needs to attach his
or her lips far back onto the areola, not on the nipple. To obtain a deep latch, mother needs to
elicit her infant’s rooting reflex, stimulating the infant to open the mouth as wide as possible.
Once infant does this, mother draws the infant close to her. If the infant latches onto nipple
only, sore nipples may result.

Lanugo: Fine, downy hair found on all body parts of the fetus, with the exception of the palms of
the hands and the soles of the feet, after 20 weeks gestation.

Large for Gestational Age (LGA): Excessive growth of a fetus in relation to the gestational time
period. An infant considered LGA is above the 90th percentile when considering gestational age
and birth weight.


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Let Down Reflex: Pattern of stimulation, hormone release, and resulting muscle contraction that
forces milk into the lactiferous ducts, making it available to the infant. Also called milk ejection
reflex.

Meconium: Dark green or black material present in the large intestine of a full term infant; the
first stools passed by the newborn.

Milia: tiny, white papules appearing on the face of a newborn as a result of unopened sebaceous
glands; they disappear spontaneously within a few weeks.

Mongolian Spot: Dark, flat pigmentation of the lower back and buttocks noted at birth in some
infants; usually disappears by the time the child reaches school age.

Molding: an asymmetric appearance of the head at birth due to overriding of the cranial bones
during labor and birth. Diminishes a few days after birth.

Nevus Flammeus: Also known as large port wine stain. Is a capillary angioma directly below the
epidermis. Is a nonelevated sharply demarcated red to purple area of dense capillaries. Does
not grow in size or fade with time. Does not usually blanch with pressure. If accompanied by
convulsions or other neurological problems is suggestive of Sturge-Weber Syndrome with
involvement of 5th cranial nerve (ophthalmic branch of trigeminal nerve).

Nevus Vasculosus: a capillary hemangioma. Consists of newly formed and enlarged capillaries in
the dermal and subdermal layers. A raised, clearly delineated dark red, rough surfaced
birthmark commonly found in the head region. Such marks usually grow, often rapidly during 2nd
or 3rd week of life and may not reach full size for 1 to 3 months. They begin to shrink and start to
resolve spontaneously several weeks to months after they reach peak growth. Also called
Strawberry Marks.

Nonshivering Thermogenesis: physiological mechanisms of increasing heat production. Include
increased basal metabolic rate, muscular activity and chemical thermogenesis.

PKU: Phenylketonuria. Is the most common of the group of metabolic disorders known as amino
acid disorders. Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid used for growth and in an normal
individual any excess is converted to tyrosine. Infant with PKU lacks this converting ability and
experiences an accumulation of phenylalanine in the blood. Excessive accumulation can lead to
mental retardation.

Preterm Infant: any infant born before 38 weeks gestation

Postterm Infant: any infant born after 42 weeks gestation.

Radiation: Heat loss incurred when heat transfers to cooler surfaces and objects not in direct
contact with the body. Placing cool objects near an infant such as ice for a blood gas draw could
cause this type of heat loss.



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Reflexes: See specific types listed below

Moro Reflex: elicited when the infant is startled by a loud noise or is lifted slightly above the crib
and lowered suddenly. In response, the infant straightens arms and hands outward while the
knees flex. Slowly the arms return to the chest as in an embrace. The fingers spread forming a C
and the infant may cry. This reflex may persist until about 6 months of age.

Palmar Reflex: also called the grasping reflex. Is elicited by stimulating the newborn’s palm with
a finger or object. The newborn will grasp and hold the object or finger firmly enough to be
lifted momentarily from the crib.

Plantar Reflex: elicited when pressure is applied with the finger against the balls of the infant’s
feet. Response is a plantar flexion of all toes. Disappears by the end of the first year of life.


Babiniski Reflex: a fanning or hyperextension of all toes and dorsiflexion of the big toe, occurring
when the lateral aspect of the sole is stroked from the heel upward across the ball of the foot. In
children older than 24 months, it is considered an abnormal response if there is an extension or
fanning of all the toes; in such cases indicates abnormality of upper motor neurons.

Rooting Reflex: Is elicited when the side of the newborn’s mouth or cheek is touched. In
response, the newborn turns towards that side and opens the lips to suck (if not fed recently).

Sucking Reflex: normal newborn reflex elicited by inserting a finger or nipple in the newborn’s
mouth, resulting in a forceful, rhythmic sucking.

Tonic Neck Reflex: is elicited when newborn is supine and the head is turned to one side. In
response, the extremities on the same side straighten whereas on the opposite side they flex.
May not be seen during early newborn period but once it appears it persists until about the 3rd
month.

Stepping Reflex: Occurs when infant is held upright with one foot touching a flat surface. The
infant will put one foot in front of the other and “walk”. This is more pronounced at birth and is
lost in 4 to 8 weeks.

Small for Gestational Age: An infant who falls below 10th percentile in terms of birth weight,
length, occipital-frontal circumference and gestational age.

Surfactant: A substance composed of phosolipid which stabilizes and lowers the surface tension
of the alveoli during extrauterine respiratory exhalation, allowing a certain amount of air to
remain in the alveoli during exhalation.

Thermoregulation: regulation of body temperature

Vernix: a protective, cheeselike whitish substance made up of sebum and desquamated
epithelial cells that is present on the fetal skin.



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Veneral Disease Research Lab (VDRL): blood test to detect syphilis




                         8-POINT POSTPARTUM ASSESSMENT WORKSHEET
                    INSTRUCTIONS                         SPECIAL POINTS TO NOTE
1. Breast
    A. Gently palpate each breast                            A. What is the contour?
    B. If you feel nodules in the breast, the ducts          B. Are the breast full, firm, tender, shiny?
        may not have been emptied at last .                  C. Are the veins distended?
    C. Stroke downward towards the nipple, then              D. Is the skin warm?
        gently release the milk by manual.                   E. Does the patient complain of sore
    D. If nodules remain, notify the doctor.                    nipples?
    E. Take this opportunity to explain the process of       F. Are breasts so engorged that she
        milk production, what to do about                       requires pain medication?
        engorgement, how to perform self breast
        examinations, and answer any questions she
        may have about breastfeeding.
2. Uterus
     A. Palpate the uterus                                   A. Uterus should the firm decrease
     B. Have the patient feel her uterus as you                 approximately one finger breadth
         explain the process of involution                      below
     C. If uterus is not involunting properly, check for     B. Unsatisfactory involution may result if
         infection, fibroids and lack of tone.                  there are retained secundines or the
                                                                bladder not completely empty
3. Bladder
    A. Inspect and palpate the bladder                       A. Bladder distention should not be
        simultaneously while checking the height of             present after recent emptying.
        the fundus.                                          B. When bladder distention does occur, a
    B. An order from the physician is necessary                 pouch over the bladder area is
        catherization may be done. An order for                 observed, felt upon palpation; mother
        culture and sensitivity test since definitive           usually feels need to urinate.
        treatment may be required.                           C. It is imperative that the first three
    C. Talk to mother about proper perineal care.               post-partum voidings be measured
        Explain that she should wipe from front to              and should be at least 150cc.
        back after voiding and defecating.                      Frequent small voidings with or
                                                                without pain and burning may indicate
                                                                infection or retention.

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4. Bowel Function
    A. Question patient daily about bowel                Notify the doctor if the lochia looks abnormal
        movements. She must not become                   in to color or contains clots or other small
        constipated. If her bowels have not              ones.
        functioned by the second postpartum day, the
        doctor may start her on a mild laxative
    B. Inform the mother about what changes she
        should expect in the lochia and when it should
        cease.
    C. Tell the mother about what changes she
        should expect in the lochia and when it should
        cease.
    D. Tell the mother when her next menstrual
        period will probably begin and when she can
        resume sexual relations.
    E. Discuss family planning at this time.
6. Episiotomy
    A. Inspect episiotomy thoroughly using flashlight        A. Check episiotomy for proper wound
        if necessary, for better visibility.                    healing, infection, inflammation and
    B. Check rectal area. If hemorrhoids are present,           suture sloughing.
        the doctor may want to start on sitz bath and        B. Is the surrounding skin warm to
        local analgesic medication. Reassure patient            touch?
        and answer questions she may have regarding          C. Does the patient complain of
        pain, cleanliness, and coitus.                          discomfort? Notify the C.Doctor if any
                                                                occur
7. Homan’s Sign
    A. Press down gently on the patient’s knee (legs     Pain or tenderness in the calf is a positive
       extended flat on bed) ask her to flex her foot    Homan’s sign and indication of
                                                         thrombophlebitis. Physician should be
                                                         notified immediately.
8. Emotional Status
    A. Throughout the physical assessment, notice            A. Does the patient appear dependent or
       and evaluate the mother’s emotional status.              independent? Is she elated or
    B. Explain to the mother and to her family that             despondent?
       she may cry easily for a while and that her           B. What does she say about family?
       emotions may shift from high to low. The              C. Are there other nonverbal responses?
       changes are normal and are probably caused
       by the tremendous hormonal changes
       occurring in her body and by her realization of
       new responsibilities that accompany each
       child’s birth. NOTE: Be sure that the mother
       has emptied her bladder and that she is lying
       in supine position on a flat bed before
       beginning assessment.




                                              11
                                     Antepartal nursing



Antepartal nursing

      Period of pregnancy between conception and onset of labor, used in reference to the
       mother.



Pre-embryonic development

      Two week period that includes:
          o Fertilization (conception)
          o Implantation
                  Miscarriage is a problem at this stage.




Embryonic development

      3-8 weeks
      major functions of this period:
           o Cell multiples and grow
           o Cells differentiate and grow
           o By the end of week 8, all organ systems and external structures are present.
      Primary germ layers develop
           o Ectoderm (brain, nervous system)
           o Medoderm (heart, bones)
           o Endoderm (lungs, intestinal organs
      Fetal membrane develops
           o Amnion inner lining produces amniotic fluid
           o Chorion outmost linging chorionic villi develop into placenta
      Amniotic fluid
           o Function: shock absorber
           o Amount: 1500ml or more
      Placenta
           o Provides “food” and secretes hormones that continue the pregnancy
           o Circulation: Mom and baby’s circulation is completely separate!
           o Metabolic function


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                      Respiration
                      Nutrition
                      Excretion
                      Storage
      Umbilical cord
         o Lifeline to mom
         o 2 arteries
                    unoxygenated blood
         o 1 vein
                    oxygenated
         o Wharton’s jelly
                    Outer covering of umbilical cord (protects cord)




Hormones



Human chorionic gonadatropin (hCG)

      Supplied by corpus luteum
      Detected in mom’s blood 8-10 days after conception
      Keeps corpus luteum active which supplies:
           o Estrogen
           o Progesterone
      The placenta takes the place of the corpus luteum around the 16th week of pregnancy



Human placental lactogen (hPL)

      Acts as a growth hormone
      Stimulates mom’s metabolism (mom needs extra energy)
      Increases mom’s resistance to insulin (sends more sugar to baby)
      Facilitates glucose transport across placental membrane
      Stimulates breast development to prepare for lactation



Progesterone

      Maintains endometrium
      Decreases contractibility of uterus
      Breast development




                                             13
Estrogen (by 7 weeks)

      Stimulates uterine growth and blood flow between uterus and placenta (uteroplacental)
      Breast development



An important point

      Placental function depends on maternal blood pressure
      If there is interference with circulation with the placenta, the following develops:
            o Vasoconstriction (blood flow to baby is decreased)
                      Maternal hypertension
                      Maternal smoker
                      Cocaine abuse




Fetal development

      Fetal period is 9 week to birth
      Rapid growth and organ development



Some dates/terms related to fetal growth:

      Integumentary
           o Lanugo:
                     Downy hair covering the body
                     Appears at 13 weeks, disappears at 36 weeks
           o Vernix caseosa
                    Protects skin; most abundant in the creases (neck) and flexor surfaces.
      Cardiovascular
           o Heart beat heard at 10 weeks by Doppler
           o Heard at 16 weeks via fetoscope
      Respiratory
                                      th
           o Surfactant matures by 36 week
                    Surfactant permits expansion of the lungs
      GI system
           o Meconium (tarry stool)
      Urinary system
                   th
           o By 5 month, fetus urinates into amniotic fluid
                nd
           o 2 half of pregnancy: urine makes up major part of amniotic fluid
      Sexual
                                            th
           o Can identify male/female by 16 week



                                               14
Emotional responses to pregnancy

       Ambivalence (contradictory feelings)
       Grief
       Self-centered; feels need to protect her body
       Introversion or extroversion
       Body image changes
       Stress
       Mood changes
       Sexual desire changes
       Couvade syndrome
            o The father experiences the physical symptoms; morning sickness or backache;
                the “empathy” belly.



Three Psychological tasks of pregnancy

       1st trimester: accepting the pregnancy
       2nd trimester: accepting the baby
       3rd trimester: preparing for parenthood; nesting



Terms related to pregnancy

       Para: number of babies born after 22 weeks
       Gravida: A woman who is or has been pregnant
       Primigravida: a woman who is pregnant for the 1st time
       Primipara: A woman who has delivered one child after 22 weeks
       Multigravida: A woman who has been pregnant previously
       Multipara: A woman who has carried 2 or more pregnancies after 22 weeks
       Nulligravida: A woman who is not pregnant and is not currently pregnant.



Estimated Delivery date



Nagele’s rule

       Begins with 1st day of last menstrual period, subtract 3 months, and add 7 days




                                               15
McDonald’s method

      Measure from top of symphysis pubis over curve of abdomen to top of uterine fundus in
       cm.
           o Helps determine gestation week
           o Gives indication of IUGR, twins, hydramnios (excess amniotic fluid)
           o 12-16 weeks, just above the symphysis pubis
           o 20-22 weeks, at umbilicus




Pregnancy tests

      Measure hCG (human chorionic gonadatropin)
          o 95-98% accuracy
          o blood and urine tests




Danger signs of pregnancy—call M.D. for ALL of these

      Sudden gush of fluid from vagina
      Vaginal bleeding (however, a little spotting can be normal due to fluctuating hormones)
      Abdominal pain
      Apigastric pain (placenta may be tearing away from uterine wall)
      Signs of toxemia/pre-eclampsia
           o Dizziness, blurred vision, diplopia (double vision), see spots
           o Severe headache
           o Edema of the hands, face, legs, and feet
           o Muscular irritability, seizures
      Oliguria (decreased urine output)
      Dysuria (Painful or difficult urination)
      Temp above 101 and chills (could mean sepsis)
      Persistent vomiting
      Absence of fetal movement (12 hours)



Prenatal Health assessment

      hCG confirms pregnancy
      Complete health history
          o genetic disorders
          o chronic illnesses
          o meds
          o obstetrical history
          o personal habits


                                             16
      Complete physical exam
           o VS
           o Weight/height
           o Pelvic exam
           o Assess size/shape of boney pelvis
      Lab tests
           o Serology
           o Hematocrit and hemoglobin
                     N: 38-47% and 12-16 g/dl
           o Sickle cell trait
           o WBC
                     N: 4,500-11,000
           o ABO and Rh typing (indirect coombs)
                     N: Rh neg
                     Rationale: check for presence of Rh antibodies
           o Rubella, Hep B, and Varicella titers
                     N: Increased titer indicates immunity
           o Urinalysis
                     Abnormal color
                     Protein, RBC’s, WBC’s
                     Glucose: small vs. large amount
      Subsequent visits
           o Physical assessment
           o Measure fundal height
      Fetal heart tones
           o Fetoscope
                     16 weeks, and almost always by 19 or 20 weeks
           o Doppler
                     10-12 weeks
      Prenatal visits
                               st
           o Q 4 weeks for 1 28 weeks
           o Q 2 weeks until 36 weeks, then
           o Q 1 week until childbirth




Nutrition during pregnancy

      Who the hell knows from that damn handout. This is all I know:
           o Vitamin D and Folacin (folic acid) is increased 100%
           o Iron is HUGE, need 433% due to that pseudoanemia
                   Pseudoanemia is a drop in hematocrit during pregnancy. The increase in
                      circulating blood volume reflects an altered ratio of serum to RBC’s;
                      plasma volume increases by 50%, whereas the RBC count increases by
                      30%.
        nd     rd
      2 and 3 trimesters need to increase 300 kcals/day



                                            17
Fluids and Fiber

        Drink 8 glasses of fluid daily (water is best fluid)
        No alcohol, limit caffeine
        Limit artificial sweeteners
        Fiber is good!
             o Fights constipation
             o Lowers cholesterol




Weight



        Recommended weight gain during pregnancy:
             o 25-40 lb
          st
        1 trimester
             o gain 1 pound per month
        2nd and 3rd trimesters
             o gain 1 pound per week
        Watch for sudden large gains- could be fluid



                        Physiological changes and discomforts in pregnancy



Uterus

        Hegar’s sign
             o Softening of the lower uterine segment, a probable sign of pregnancy that may
                 be present during the 2nd and 3rd month of pregnancy.
             o The lower part of the uterus is easily compressed between the fingers placed in
                 the vagina and those of the other hand over the pelvic area.
             o Due to the softening of the uterus related to increasing vascularity and edema
                 and because the fetus does not completely fill the uterine cavity at this point, so
                 the space is empty and compressible.
        Braxton Hick’s
             o Changes in contractibility
             o “False labor”; does not cause dilation and effacement of the cervix.
                      Effleurage (massage) and rest
        Ballottement



                                                   18
              o   A diagnostic maneuver in pregnancy. The fetus rebounds when displaced by a
                  light tap of the examining finger through the vagina.
         Quickening
              o Initial awareness of the movement of the fetus within womb
                          th   th
              o Felt 16 -18 week
         Lightening
              o The descent of the presenting part of the fetus into the pelvis. Feels as if the
                  baby is “dropping”.
                                          th
              o Happens around the 36 week




Cervix

         Goodell’s sign
             o Softening of the cervix (due to increasing vascularity and edema)
         Chadwick’s sign
             o Deep blue-violet color of the cervix and vagina
         Mucus Plug “Operculum”
             o The plug of mucus that fills the opening of the cervix on impregnation
             o Prevents bacteria from getting into uterus




Ovaries

         No ovulation
         Corpus luteum increases until week 16; then replaced by placenta
         Increased estrogen and progesterone inhibit the release of LH and FSH.



Vagina “VaJay-jay”

         Chadwick’s sign
         Preparing for stretching during labor and birth:
              o Connective tissue loosens
              o Hypertrophy
              o Lengthens
              o Luekorrhea
                       White, thick secretions
         pH in vagina becomes more acidic
              o fights off bacteria, but,
              o promotes fungus/yeast infections
                       bathe daily, wear absorbent cotton panties
                       no crossing legs or douching



                                                 19
Breasts

         Increase in fullness, heaviness, tenderness
         Nipples darken
         Thin and watery secretions
         Montgomery’s tubercles
              o Sebaceous glands in the areola surrounding the nipple of the female breast
              o Prevention of nipple cracking
         Blood vessels more visible
         Estrogen and progesterone cause these changes
         During 2nd and 3rd trimesters, most growth due to mammary glands
              o Wear a well fitting bra for breast tenderness




Cardiovascular

         Blood volume in mom increases by 1500ml or 40-50% above pre-pregnancy levels.
              o Changes due to hormones, meet woman’s and growing fetus’ needs
              o Cardiac output increases 30-50%
              o Heart rate increases 10-15 BPM
              o RBC’s increase, but cannot keep up with the pace of the plasma volume;
                  decreased hemoglobin and hematocrit occur. This is called pseudoanemia.
                  Know it and love it.
         Blood pressure :
              o First trimester: no change
              o Second trimester: systolic and diastolic decrease 5-10 mm Hg
                    rd
              o 3 trimester: Returns to first trimester levels.
                                                                     nd
              o Supine hypotension syndrome can occur in the 2 half of pregnancy (vertigo,
                  decreased BP).
                        Palpitations and murmurs can cause an issue for these issues.
                          Encourage mom to take naps, have partner assist with housework, get
                          to bed early, and good nutrition. Teach mom that that these symptoms
                          are normal. If mom feels faint, tell her to lower head between legs, lie
                          down, rise slowly, avoid standing long periods. Avoid lying on back,
                          instruct to lie on side (due to compressed inferior vena cava).
         WBC are elevated in the 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy
              o Could mask infection.
         Varicose veins
              o Due to the compression of the iliac veins and inferior vena cava by uterus;
                  increases venous pressure and decreases blood flow to the legs.
                        Interventions: Exercise, don’t cross legs; wear support hose; keep legs
                          and hips up; exercise feet.




                                                 20
Respiratory

      Increased tidal volume
      Increased oxygen consumption
      Slight elevation in respiratory rate (18-20 in pregnancy; 12-20 is normal)
      Nasal stuffiness (1st trimester)
      SOB (not hubby, breath) 2nd trimester
      Dyspnea
           o Estrogen causes upper respiratory tract to become more vascular. As capillaries
                fill, edema develops in the nose.
                       Interventions: Use cool air vaporizer
                       NO SPRAYS
                       Proper position; semi-Fowlers when sleeping.




Gastrointestinal

      Nausea and vomiting (1st trimester)
      Gingivitis
      Increased saliva
      Increased gastric acid (heartburn/pyrosis)
           o Causes are due to the cardiac sphincter relaxes; increased progesterone; gastric
                displacement; hCG levels
                     Interventions: Avoid greasy, highly seasoned food, eat small meals
                        frequently, eat dry toast or crackers before arising. Warm sprite and
                        ginger ale can be helpful.
                     Sit upright 1 hour after eating
                     Sodium bicarb after eating
                     6-8 glasses of water every day
      Decreased motility constipation (2nd half)
           o Causes are due to the iron supplement most women are on; displacement of
                the intestines.
                     Interventions: Exercise qid, increase fluids/bulk, be regular
      Hemorrhoids (2nd half of pregnancy)
           o Productions of relaxin
                     Avoid constipation, prolonged standing, constricting clothing
                     Use topical meds, warm soaks, anesthetic agents
      Flatulence (2nd half
           o I don’t know why?
                     Avoid gaseous foods, chew thoroughly, exercise.




Integumentary

      Increased skin pigmentation


                                             21
           o   Melanocyte-stimulating hormone
           o   Facial mask (melasma)
           o   Linea ligra (dark line from pubis to umbillica)
           o   Vascular spider nevi
           o   Stretch marks on abdomen (striae gravidarum)
                    Stretching ruptures small segments of connective tissue
           o   Rectus diastasis: Blue groove after pregnancy
                    Abdominal wall separates
           o   Increased sweat glands (problems with perspirations
                    Increased estrogen levels
           o   Palmar erythema
                    Increased estrogen
                             Use lotions




Renal

       Fluid retention: Aids with increased blood volume
       Increased water absorption
       Increased aldosterone
       Increased diameter of uterers
       Increased bladder capacity (urinary frequency and urgency (symptoms disappear at 12
        weeks, then reappear 3rd trimester)
            o Estrogen and progesterone cause this
            o Mom gets rid of own waste and fetus’; compression of the bladder and uterers
            o Ankle edema
                      Decrease fluid intake in the evening, limit caffeine; empty bladder Q2h
                         to prevent distention and stasis; kegal exercises
                      Avoid tight garments; elevate legs; do dorsiflexion of the feet while
                         standing or sitting for prolonged time
       May be slight (trace) spilling of glucose (glucouria)



Musculoskeletal

       Changes in gravity
       Calcium and phosphorus needs increase
       Later in pregnancy, gradual softening of pelvic ligaments and joints
       Lordosis
            o Caused by relaxin and progesterone
            o Leg cramps (late pregnancy)
            o Backache (late pregnancy)
                      Good nutrition, rest with legs elevated, wear warm clothing.
                      During leg cramp, pull toes up toward the leg while pressing down on
                        the ankle


                                              22
                      Use proper body mechanics; avoid high hells (duh)



Endocrine

      Placental hormones
           o Estrogen: breast/uterine enlargement
           o Progesterone: maintains endometrium; inhibits uterine contractibility; lactation
           o hCG: stimulates corpus luteum to produce estrogen and progesterone until
                placenta takes over.
           o hPL (Human placental Lactogen): antagonist to insulin (frees fatty acids for
                energy so glucose is available)
           o Relaxin: Inhibits uterine activity; softens cervix and collagen in joints.
           o Prostaglandins: May trigger labor
      Pituitary gland
           o Oxytocin
           o Prolactin: lactation
      Thyroid increases in size
           o Increased BMR
           o Better use of calcium and vitamin D
      Adrenal glands
           o Aldosterone
      Pancreas:
           o Insulin; additional glucose available for fetus




Immune system

      Resistance to infection during each trimester
      1st trimester: 3-5 pounds
      2nd trimester: 12-15 pounds
      3rd trimester: 12-15 pounds



                                     Gestational diabetes



Gestational Diabetes

      Occurs during pregnancy
      Pancreas cannot meet demands for insulin production during pregnancy, or
      Certain hormones block the action of insulin… insulin resistance.
      Occurs during 2nd and 3rd trimester


                                              23
      Usually resolves after delivery
      About 50% of these women develop diabetes within 22-28 years
      Occurs in 2-3% of women
      Often reoccurs in later pregnancies



Risk Factors

      Obesity
      Age
      Family history of type 2 DM
      Obstetric history of:
           o Infant wt >4000g (9 pounds)
           o Unexplained stillbirth
           o Miscarriage
           o Congenital anomalies




Hormonal influences during pregnancy

      1st trimester: Insulin sensitivity due to:
            o increased estrogen and progesterone
            o results in:
                     decreased glucose in mom
                     mom may become hypoglycemic
        nd
      2 trimester: Insulin breakdown due to:
            o Human placental lactogen (hPL)
            o Increased breakdown of insulin due to:
                     Placental insulinase
            o Overall effects:
                     Increased plasma glucose levels = hyperglycemia
                     Increased insulin requirements




Insulin needs

      Diabetogenic effect on pregnancy
          o Is usually a good thing
          o Increased insulin needs to be released to cover glucose in laboring moms




Effects on mom when she doesn’t have enough insulin



                                            24
      Difficult labor
      Increased risk of pregnancy induced hypertension
      Polyhydramnios: amniotic fluid > 2000 ml (remember, 1500 ml is the regular)
      Postpartum hemorrhage
      UTI
      Ketoacidosis death of mom and baby
      If mom has extra glucose circulating, it goes directly to the baby
      Remember, mom and baby share glucose, but not insulin.



Effect on baby (not enough insulin)

      Macrosomia: “large body”
      Insulin does not cross placenta, which results in:
            o Increased insulin production from baby
            o Acts as a growth hormone
      Hypoglycemia
            o When umbilical cord is cut, the glucose from mom stops.
            o The result is a newly born, very hypoglycemic baby.
      Difficult birth
            o Shoulder dystocia or other injury due to macrosomia (large baby)
      Congenital anomalies
      Intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR)
      Lungs less mature
      Fetal death



Management of Gestational Diabetes



Detection and diagnosis

      Screen pregnant women at high risk for GDM for diabetes
           o 24-28 weeks
                   50gm oral glucose tolerance test (GTT)
                   Pre-gestational diabetes (HbA1c)




Goals for GDM

      Maintain normal glucose levels
          o Fasting glucose levels <105
          o 2 hr postmeal (postprandial) <120


                                            25
           o During sleep, no less than 70.
      Maintain normal weight gain; for most women with GDM, this is:
           o Weight gain of 22-30 lbs (different norms; remember that mom without
              gestational diabetes is 25-40 lbs)
      Prevent hyper and hypoglycemia



Goals achieved through:

      Office visits
      Diet
      Blood glucose monitoring
      Insulin
      Exercise
      Education



More on Goals…

      1st and 2nd trimester
            o every 1-2 weeks
      3rd trimester (after 32 weeks)
            o 1-2 times a week
      At each office visit, mom is assessed for:
            o Hypoglycemia
            o Hyperglycemia
            o Glycosuria (glucose in urine)
            o Hypertension
            o Vaginal infections and bleeding
            o UTI
            o Retinopathy—spots/blurring (symptoms are more long term)
      Fetus assessed for:
            o Macrosomia
            o Hydramnios
                      This happens in 25% (fetal polyuria)
                      Increase in amniotic fluid
      Tests to determine fetal condition
            o Ultrasound
            o Daily fetal movement count (DFMC)
            o Alpha fetal protein (AFP)- neural tube defect
            o Biophysical profile
            o Contraction stress test (to see how well baby responds to contractions)
            o Amniocentesis
      Diet
            o Dietary modifications (30-35 kcal/kg/day)


                                             26
                     2200 cal/day (1st trimester)
                     2500 cal/day (2nd and 3rd trimester)
                     3 meals, 3 snacks, including bedtime snacks
                     eat at the same time each day
      Blood glucose monitoring
           o If on insulin:
                   Accuchecks ac, hs, 2 hrs after meals
                   Check urine ketones on awakening, during illness, if BS is elevated
           o Not on insulin
                   May do accuchecks weekly or at office apts.
      Insulin
           o Cannot take oral hypoglycemic agents
           o 50% with GDM require insulin
           o Reg and NPH 2 or 3 times a day
                   Check blood glucose as stated above
      Exercise
           o Walking after a meal
           o Swimming
           o Stationary bicycling
           o Carry glucose when exercising
           o Whatever their body has been used to in the past




Teaching mom and dad

      Teach signs of hypo and hyperglycemia
          o <60mg/dl drink or eat a “glucose booster”
          o Call M.D. if still <60 after 15 minutes
          o Call M.D. if 2 or more episodes are in a week




Monitoring during labor and delivery

      Monitor glucose Q 1-2 hours and maintain 100mg/dl or less
      Continuous fetal and mother monitoring



Monitoring during post-partum

      Insulin requirements decrease
      98% revert to normoglycemia
      Do a glucose tolerance test in 6-12 weeks as follow-up




                                             27
                              Gestational Hypertensive Disorders

Pregnancy Induced hypertension or PIH

       Mom is not hypertensive before pregnancy
       Hypertension and other symptoms that occur due to pregnancy
       Disappear with birth of fetus and placenta



High risk factors

       Chronic renal disease
       Chronic hypertension
       Family history
       Primagravidas (a woman who is pregnant for the 1st time)
       Twins
       Mom <19 and >40
       Diabetes
       Rh incompatibility
       Obesity
       Hydatidiform mole



Pathophysiology

       Can progress from mild to severe
       Aterial venospasms decrease diameter of blood flow, which results in:
            o Decreased blood flow
            o Increased BP




Classifications

       Transcient Hypertension
       Preeclampsia
            o Mild
            o severe
       Eclampsia
       HELLP syndrome



Transcient Hypertension



                                              28
      BP > 140/90
      Develops during pregnancy
      No proteinuria
      No edema (other than “normal” places like ankles)
      BP returns to normal by 10th day postpartum



Mild Preeclampsia

      BP > 140/90 x 2 at least 4-6 hours apart
      Weight gain
                                    nd
           o +2 pounds/wk in 2 trimester, or
                                  rd
           o +1 pound/wk in 3 trimester, or
           o sudden weight gain of 4 pounds/week anytime
                    Norms
                                 st
                             1 trimester: 1 lb/month
                                 nd      rd
                             2 and 3 trimester: 1 lb/week
      Dependant edema
           o Eyes, face, fingers
      Proteinuria
      Urine output > 30ml/hr



Nursing care for Mild Preeclampsia

      Patient at home
      Bedrest (with BR privileges); side-lying position
      Mom and family will be taught to monitor:
            o Daily weight
            o Urine dipstick
            o BP
            o Fetal movements
      Diet: Regular with no salt restrictions
      If symptoms progress to severe Preeclampsia Hospital!



Severe Preeclampsia

      Presence of any of the following in a woman diagnosed with Preeclampsia:
           o BP > 160/110 (x2) 4-6 hours apart
           o Weight gain—same as mild Preeclampsia
           o Proteinuria >4+ dipstick
           o Urine output < 30 ml/hr
           o Generalized edema, may also include pulmonary edema


                                            29
                    Crackles heard in lungs
           o   Cerebral (headache) or visual (blurred vision) changes
           o   Liver involvement
           o   Thrombocytopenia (decrease in number of platelets) with low platelet count
               (same thing?)
           o   Cardiac involvement
           o   Hyperreflexia >3+
           o   Development of HELLP syndrome
                    Hemolysis (destruction of RBC’s) H
                    Elevated liver enzymes EL
                    Low platelets LP
           o   Fetus growth severely shunted



Care of patient with severe Preeclampsia/HELLP syndrome

      Hospitalized until baby is delivered
      Bedrest on side
      Bed near nurse’s station with code cart nearby
      Quiet, calm environment
      Siderails up, padded
      Frequent assessments to include:
           o BP, P, R
           o Daily weight
           o Assess edema
           o Deep tendon reflexes
           o Assess for headache, visual disturbances, epigastric pain (liver is getting
                involved)
           o Insert foley
           o Strict I and O
           o Evaluate urine for protein
           o Monitor fetal well-being
           o Assess labs; platelets, liver enzymes




Medical management

      Prevent seizures MAGNESIUM SULFATE
           o Decreases neuromuscular irritability
           o Decreases CNS irritability (anticonvulsant effect)
           o Promotes maternal vasodilation, better tissue perfusion
           o Watch for magnesium toxicity
                    Loss of knee-jerk reflexes
                    Respirations <12
                    Urine output <30ml/hr


                                              30
                     Cardiac or respiratory arrest
                     Toxic serum levels >9.6mg/dl
                     Sign of fetal distress
                     Calcium Gluconate is the antidote
      Control hypertension
          o BP meds via IV
          o Continue observations 24-48 hrs after birth
          o Symptoms usually resolve within 48 hours after birth




Eclampsia

      Onset of seizure activity or coma in person with PIH
      Assessment findings
           o Increased hypertension precedes seizures followed by hypotension and collapse
           o Coma may occur
           o Labor may begin, putting fetus in great jeopardy
      Treat with magnesium sulfate and above measures for severe Preeclampsia



HELLP syndrome

      Occurs in 4-12% of patients with PIH; life-threatening situation to mom and/or baby. No
       known cause.
      Treatment:
           o Give platelets
           o Deliver infant ASAP
           o All usually returns to normal after the delivery




                                 Complications of Pregnancy



Hydatiform Mole

      Proliferation and degeneration of trophoblasts (the outer layer of blastocyst)
      Cells fill with fluid
      Resembles a bunch of grapes due to the fluid filled (hydropic) vesicles
      Mole
           o Vessels grow rapidly large uterus
           o Mole has no fetus, no placenta, no amniotic fluid or membrane


                                              31
      1 in 2000 pregnancies in US
      higher incidence in Asia and tropics
      Most often seen:
            o In women after ovulation stimulation with climiphene (clomid)
            o Early teens or perimenopausal
            o Lower socioeconomic groups
                       nd
            o Risk of 2 mole 4-5 x higher than the first
      Signs and symptoms:
                                 st
            o Bleeding during 1 trimester
                    Dark brown/prune juice
            o Unusual uterine growth
            o No fetal parts can be palpated
            o No FHT
            o Snowstorm pattern on ultrasound
            o Abnormal labs
                    Very high serum hCG
            o PIH
      Medical management
            o Many moles abort spontaneously
            o Suction curettage to evacuate mole
            o One year following:
                    Serum hCG levels
                    Physical and pelvic exams
                    3-20% of cases progress to choriocarcinoma
                    pregnancy should be avoided for one year




Hyperemesis Gravidarum

      Extreme nausea and vomiting during first half of pregnancy that is associated with:
           o Dehydration
           o Weight loss
           o Electrolyte imbalance
      Relatively rare
      Worse than “morning sickness”
      Usually lasts beyond week 12
      Increased levels of hCG



Pathology of Hyperemesis Gravidarum

      Dehydration
      Fluid-electrolyte imbalance
           o Hypokalemia
      Alkalosis due to loss of HCL


                                              32
        Protein deficiency
        Starvation with muscle wasting



Fetus is at risk for:

        Abnormal development
        Intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR)
        Death



Diagnosis:

        History of intractable vomiting in the first half of pregnancy
        Dehydration
        Ketonuria
        Weight loss of 5% pre-pregnancy weight
        Other signs and symptoms of dehydration



Medical therapy

        Control vomiting
        Correct dehydration
        Restore electrolyte imbalance
        Maintain nutrition
        If mom is NPO, usually 24-48 hours
        IV fluids, 3000 ml or more first 24 hours
        Antiemetics
        Antihistamines
        If no vomiting in 24 hours, started on clear liquids; mom sent home usually with a
         referral for home care
        Eventually goes to soft diet, then regular
        If vomiting occurs, will usually start TPN in the home



Urinary Tract Infection

        Affects 10% of all pregnant women
        Frequent site: dilated, flaccid, and displaced ureter
        May cause premature labor if severe




                                                  33
Assessment findings

      Frequency and urgency of urination
      Suprapubic pain
      Flank pain (if kidney involved)
      Hematuria (blood in urine)
      Pyuria (purulent pee)
      Fever and chills



Nursing interventions

      Encourage high fiber intake
      Provide warm baths to relieve discomfort and promote perineal hygiene
      Administer and monitor intake of prescribed medications
      Monitor for signs of premature labor from severe or untreated infection



Substance Abuse

      Alcohol, no safe level
           o Displaces other nutritional food intake
           o Fetus may show signs of:
                    IUGR
                    CNS dysfunction
                    Craniofacial abnormalities (FAS)
      Cocaine
           o Causes vasoconstriction, elevated BP, tachycardia
           o May cause seizures
           o May cause spontaneous abortion, fetal malformation, neural tube defects
           o Newborn: irritability, hypertonicity, poor feeding patterns, increased risk of SIDS
      Opiates
           o Produces analgesia, euphoria, respiratory depression
           o Newborns experience withdrawal within 24-72 hours after delivery
           o High-pitched cry, restlessness, poor feeding seen in the newborn
      Nursing care:
           o Provide quiet environment
           o Wrap infant and hold snuggly
           o Observe for seizures
           o Administer anticonvulsants, sedatives as ordered
           o Difficult to quiet




Care of the pregnant adolescent


                                              34
       Over 1 million teenage pregnancies per year US
       Developmental tasks:
            o Body image
            o Sexual identity
            o Values
            o Independence from parents
            o Decision making skills
            o An adult identity
       Current problems—STD/HIV
            o STD’s continue to rise rapidly in teenagers
                      Highest incidence of gonorrhea and syphilis are in the 15-19 year group
            o Researchers predict that HIV will increasingly be found in the adolescent
                population
       Family reactions to adolescent pregnancy
            o Shock, anger, shame, guilt, sorrow
       The pregnant adolescent
            o Incidence of:
                      LBW infants
                      Infant mortality
                      Abortion
            o Poor compliance with meds—Vit/Fe
            o Children taking care of children



                                        High Risk Newborn



High risk newborns are at an increased risk for illness or death due to:

       Prematurity
       Gestational age problems
       Physical problems
       Birth complications



Assessing gestational age

       Preterm: 0-37 completed weeks
       Term: 38-41 completed weeks
       Post term: greater than 42 weeks
       SGA: Small for gestational age
       AGA: average for gestational age
       LGA: large for gestational age




                                                35
Ballard exam (for gestational age)

      Two components:
           o Physical maturity
           o Neurologic and/or neuromuscular development evaluations
      A score is given in each area
      Added up = gestational age
      Other assessments needed
           o Weight
           o Head circumference
           o Length




The preterm infant

      Born before the end of 37 weeks
      Weight less than 2500 grams (5 lbs, 8 oz)
      Maternal causes:
           o Age
           o Smoking
           o Poor nutrition
           o Placental problems
           o Preeclampsia/eclampsia
      Fetal causes:
           o Multiple babies
           o Infections
      Other:
           o Socioeconomic status
           o Exposure to harmful substances
      Severity of problems
           o Related to baby’s age
           o Great chance of complication the earlier the infant is born
      Major complications:
           o Respiratory distress syndrome (RDS)
           o Temperature regulation
           o Conserving energy
           o Infection
           o Hemorrhage




Assessment/Interventions

      Respiratory system
          o Alveoli begin to form at 26-28 weeks; therefore lungs are poorly developed.
          o Not enough surfactant


                                             36
                      Respiratory distress syndrome
                      Chronic bronchopulmonary dysplasia
      Respiratory distress syndrome- RDS
          o “Hyaline Membrane disease”
          o Due to decreased surfactant
          o Overtime, alveoli rub against each other, scar tissue develops in the lungs
               hyaline membrane
                    Hyaline: a glassy appearance/cartilage
          o Symptoms:
                    RR >60
                    Retractions
                    Grunting
                    Cyanosis
                    Nasal flaring
                    Hypoxia lactic acid production
                             Increased CO2 acidosis
                             Hemoglobin unable to carry O2 molecule
                    X-ray’s show “white out” of the lungs
                    Increasing central cyanosis
                    Increased HR
                    Hypothermia
                    Decreased activity level




Medical management

      Prevent preterm birth
           o Aggressive treatment of premature labor
           o Bethmethasone (steroid) to mom
                    Enhances fetal lung development
                    Needs to be given within 24 hours of birth
      Surfactant replacement therapy
           o Administer surfactant via E-T tube at birth for all preemies
      Must establish ventilation and administer oxygen
           o Ventilator via ET tube




Thermal regulation

      Poor thermal stability in preemie
          o Large surface area in comparison to body weight
          o Reduced muscle and fat deposits
                   Brown fat begins after 28 weeks
          o Poor glycogen and lipid stores
          o Limited ability to shiver


                                             37
           o Usually less active
      Posture is flaccid increasing surface area exposed
      Increase in insensible fluid loss dehydration
      Respiratory distress fosters more work of breathing
      Delivery rooms 62-68* F
      Cold stress results in:
           o Hypoxia
           o Metabolic acidosis
           o Hypoglycemia
           o Interventions for cold stress:
                     Isolette or warmer
                     Minimize drafts
                     Prewarm all surfaces
                     Bathing: keep covered; water warm
                     Knitted caps and booties
                     If oxygen is used, warm and moisturize it
                     Keep isolette covered—light is a stimulus




Nutritional Status

      Digestive system
           o Small stomach
           o Poor muscle tone – cardiac sphincter
                    Can cause vomiting
           o Gag and cough reflexes are poor
                    Aspiration is a problem
           o Decreased absorption of fat
           o Limited ability to convert glucose to glycogen
           o Lacks sucking until 32-34 weeks
           o Gavage feedings may be necessary until sucking reflex occurs
           o Give baby a soft preemie nipple to stimulate sucking as they are receiving
               gavage feedings.



Skin

      Decreased subcutaneous fat
      Reddened
      Translucent



Immature liver



                                             38
         Cannot conjugate bilirubin: Jaundice.
             o Treatment is phototherapy
         Cannot store or release glucose hypoglycemia
         Decrease in hemoglobin and production of blood       anemia
         Does not make or store vitamin K hemorrhage



Immature kidneys

         Increased Na excretion hyponatremia
         Decreased ability to concentrate urine dehydration



Infections

         Immature immune system and other reasons



Neuromuscular

         Poor muscle tone
         Weak reflexes
         Weak, feeble cry



Developmental considerations

         Encourage bonding with parents
         Encourage visiting with parents and siblings
         Kangaroo care
              o Skin-to-skin touch
         Twin co-bedding
         Positioning



Small for gestational age (SGA)

         Less that 10% on the newborn classification chart.



Causes:

                                                 39
       Due to intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR)



Two types:

       Symetric
           o Infant looks normal but is very small
           o Usually problem happens during first trimester (infections)
       Asymmetric
           o Later in pregnancy
           o Long arms/legs; looks like a “skinny old man”
           o Usually weight <10%; length and HC >10%




Factors contributing to SGA:

       Maternal causes:
            o Poor nutrition (especially in last trimester)
            o Advanced diabetes
                     Vessels are constricted in mom; not enough blood/nutrients going to
                        fetus.
            o PIH
            o Smoking and drug (cocaine) use.
            o Age over 35
                     Due to physiological changes in mom
       Placental causes:
            o Partial placental separation
            o Malfunction
                     Unable to obtain or transport nutrients for baby (Decreased blood flow)
       Fetal causes:
            o Intrauterine infection
            o Chromosomal abnormalities and malformations




Assessment findings for SGA (mostly asymmetrical)

       Skin
             o  Loose and dry
             o  Little fat
             o  Little muscle mass
       Small body
           o Skull appears larger
       Sunken abdomen
           o Thin, dry umbilical cord


                                              40
       Little scalp hair
       Wide scalp sutures
       Respiratory distress
       Hypoglycemic
       Tremors
       Weak cry
       Lethargic



Interventions for SGA:

       Similar to those of the preterm infant



Large for gestational age; LGA

       Neonate whose birth weight is above the 90th percentile on the newborn classification
        chart.
       Subject to overproduction of growth hormone in utero. (Insulin, if mom was diabetic)
       May be preterm, term, or post-term



Causes of LGA:

       Mother with poorly controlled diabetes
       Multiparity
       Infant with transposition of the great vessels (unknown cause)
       Genetic predisposition



Problems associated with LGA:

       May require C-section
       Higher incidence of birth trauma with vaginal delivery
            o Fractured clavicle, brachial plexus palsies, depressed skull fractures,
                 cephalhematomas
       Fetal distress during prolonged difficult second stage labor (respiratory distress)
       Hypoglycemia
       Polycythemia look for hyperbilirubinemia



Physical findings in LGA infant

                                                 41
       Weight greater than 4000 grams (8lb, 14.5 oz)
       Caput succedaneum (goes over suture)
            o Edema on top of head where it is pushed against cervix during labor (fluid).
       Cephalhematoma (does not go over suture)
            o Blood collection due to rupturing during birth
       Facial nerve damage
            o Unsymmetrical face (mostly seen while crying)
       Infant at risk for pre and postnatal complications
       Hypoglycemia is a major problem (serum glucose <40 mg/dl)
       Other symptoms:
            o Jitteriness and tremors, brain depends on glucose
            o Lethargy: flaccid, doesn’t want to eat
            o Tachypnea, irregular respirations
            o Hyperbilirubinemia (>12)
            o Feeding difficulties




Interventions for the LGA infant:

       Monitor glucose levels
            o At birth
            o Every 2 hours for the first 8 hours
            o Every 4 hours for 24 hours or until stable
       Offer glucose, breast milk, or formula before 4 hours of age
            o Gavage if respirations >60
            o Glucose infusion if necessary
                     Has to be done in the NICU




Maternal Infections



Beta-hemolytic, Group B Strept

       Major cause of infection in newborns
       Natural inhabitant of female genital tract
       Check culture results from mom prenatally.
            o Will check infant’s CBC if GBS is unknown In mother
       Treat:
            o Wash your hands to prevent epidemic in nursery
            o Ampicillin IV at 28 weeks and during delivery
       Pneumonia in infant 20% die within 24 hours
       Meningitis 2-4 weeks of age. 50% are brain damaged.



                                               42
Maternal Infections- TORCHS

         Group of maternal infectious diseases
             o Systemic, active diseases
         Can lead to serious complications in embryo, fetus, and neonate
             o T: Toxoplasmosis
             o O: Other, Hep. B, HIV
             o R: Rubella
             o C: CMV (Cytomegalovirus)
             o H: Herpes
             o S: syphilis




Toxoplasmosis

         Transmitted to fetus via mother’s contact with contaminated cat box filler
         Therapeutic abortion recommended if diagnosis is made before 20th week
               o These fetus’ often spontaneously abort
         Effects: Stillbirths, neonatal deaths, severe congenital anomalies, retinochoroiditis
          (inflammation of the retina and choroid), seizures, coma.



Rubella

         Greatest risk in the first trimester
         Effects: Congenital heart disease, IUGR, cataracts, mental retardation, hearing
          impairments, microcephaly, extensive fetal malformations.
         Treatment: Therapeutic abortion if in 1st trimester



CMV: Cytomegalovirus

         Member of the herpes virus group transmitted via placenta or cervix during delivery.
         Most frequent cause of viral infections in the fetus.
              o Brain, liver, and blood damage.
         CMV: Common cause of mental retardation
         Other effects:
              o Hearing defects
              o SGA infant
         Antiviral drugs cannot prevent CMV or treat the neonate.




                                                  43
Herpes Virus Type II

          Fetus is exposed from:
               o Placenta during pregnancy, or genital tissues from delivery
          May be asymptomatic 2-12 days
               o Then develops jaundice, seizures, fever, vesicular lesions, stomatitis
                    (inflammation of the mouth).
          Treatment:
               o C-section delivery protects the fetus from infection during active phases
               o Acyclovir 21 days to infant
          Healthcare workers with active lesions cannot care for babies.



Syphilis

          Congenital syphilis diagnosed with serology tests at 3 and 6 months
          Symptoms:
               o Vesicular lesions on soles, palms; irritability
               o SGA, failure to thrive, rhinitis, red rash at mouth and anus, copper rash on face,
                  soles, palms.
          Treatment:
               o Penicillin, isolation
               o Cover baby’s hands to prevent skin trauma from scratching.




Other:

          Hepatitis B:
               o Babies are routinely vaccinated at birth
               o Babies with positive mothers are given immunoglobin to decrease infection
                   possibility.
          HIV:
               o Babies born with HIV status
          Gonorrhea and Chlamydia
               o Eye infection/blindness. Treat with eye ointment erythromycin within one hour
                   of birth.



Hemolytic disease of the newborn

          Occurs when blood group of mother and infant are different
          Most common:
              o Rh factor
              o ABO incompatibility


                                                  44
Rh incompatibility

       Isoimmunization or Rh sensitization
       10-15% Caucasian couples
       5% African American couples
       Rh- mom has Rh+ fetus:
            o If mom is Rh- and baby is Rh-, no danger
            o If mom is Rh+ and baby is Rh-, no danger
            o Only Rh+ offspring of an Rh- mother is at risk




Pathology of Rh factor:

       Formation of blood cells begins by 8th week of gestation
       In up to 40% of pregnancies, these cells pass through placenta into mother’s circulation
       When the fetus is Rh+ and the mom is Rh-, the mother forms antibodies against the fetal
        blood cells.
       Always ask… what is the baby’s blood type?
       Sensitization can occur during:
            o Pregnancy
            o Birth
            o Abortion/miscarriage
            o Amniocentesis
       Usually happens during the first pregnancy with Rh+ fetus; does not produce enough
        antibodies to cause harm to fetal blood cells.
       Problems occur with the next pregnancies as more antigens form
       Causes destruction of fetal blood cells.
       Fetus compensates for this destruction by producing large numbers of immature
        erythrocytes (RBC’s) to replace the destroyed ones.
            o Causes Erythroblastosis fetalis (immature new RBC cannot compensate or
                 replace older, more mature RBC).
       Continued RBC destruction and anemia jaundice and marked fetal edema (hydrops
        fetalis) congestive heart failure.
       Breakdown of RBC’s releases bilirubin jaundice
            o Can lead to kernicterus (yellow staining on the brain) neurological damage.




Assessment and prevention of Rh Isoimmunization

       All pregnant women are assessed for:
             o Blood group
             o Rh factor
             o Routine antibody screening


                                               45
           o     Note history of:
                       Previous miscarriage
                       Blood transfusions
                       Infants experiencing jaundice
      If client is Rh-, test father
      Rh- mother and Rh- father = Rh- fetus
      Indirect Coombs test (on mother):
             o To determine if Rh- mom has developed antibodies to Rh antigen
      Direct Coombs test (on baby’s blood) to identify maternal antibodies attached to fetal
       RBC’s.
             o If the direct Coombs test is positive, this is when problems occur. Watch baby
                 closely for signs of jaundice.
      Rh immune globulin within 72 hours after birth prevents sensitization in Rh- woman
       who has had a fetomaternal transfusion of Rh+ fetal RBC’s.
      Suppresses antibody formation in mom
      Also given at 28 weeks gestation as prophylaxis
             o Rhogam is NOT long lasting
      300 ug (1 vial) of Rh immune globulin usually enough (given IM)
      If large fetomaternal transfusion is suspected, a Kleihauer-Betke test is done (detects
       the amount of fetal blood in maternal circulation).



ABO incompatibility

      More common than Rh incompatibility
      Causes less severe problems
      Mom’s blood is O, fetus blood is A, B, or AB
            o Naturally occurring anti-A and anti-B antibodies transfer across placenta to
                fetus.
      Baby may show weak positive Coombs test result
      May result is hyperbilirubinemia that can be treated with phototherapy.
      Rarely does this incompatibility lead to the severe anemia of Rh incompatibility.
      First time infant will have the most issues that other children.



                                       Postpartum Care



Goals for mom and family:

      To understand changes taking place in mom’s body (vag/c-section)
      To know how to care for infant
      To know how to care for self
      To know when to contact the healthcare system


                                              46
Changes that occur during the postpartal period



Postpartal period:

      First 6 weeks after birth
      Begins with the delivery of the placenta
      Ends when body systems return to the pre-pregnant stage
      Also called “Puerperium”



Reproductive systems

      Uterus:
           o  Rapidly shrinks in size
           o  Called involution of uterus
           o  After the delivery, the uterus is the size of a grapefruit (2.4 lbs)
           o  1 week: 500 grams
           o  6 weeks: 50 grams
           o  Uterus cannot typically be palpated after 10 days
           o  Contractions after the baby is born causes the uterus to shrink
           o  Muscle fibers shorten
           o  Wall of uterus thickens and gets smaller
           o  The uterus never returns to its prepregnant size
           o  Uterus (fundus) decreases at a predictable rate
                    2 cm below umbilicus a few minutes after birth
                    1 cm above umbilicus at 12 hours
                    and then, descends one fingerbreath (1 cm) per day
           o No longer palpable by day 9 or 10
      Subinvolution of the uterus:
           o This is a bad thing.
           o Uterus does not return to nonpregnant state.
           o Most common reasons:
                    Retained placental fragments
                    Infections
      Fundus should be midline. If not, it could be because mother has a full bladder.
           o Fundus should be firm, not boggy.
                    If its boggy, it could indicate hemorrhage




Uterine contractions



                                              47
       Begin immediately after the placenta is delivered
       The hormones that control the contractions are:
            o Oxytocin (pituitary gland; strengthens and coordinates the contractions)
       During the first 1-2 hour PP, uterine contractions may decrease
            o Muscles are tired!
       Exogenous Oxytocin given after the delivery of the placenta
            o Pitocin: IV or IM
                     Stimulates uterine smooth muscle contractions
       Breastfeeding is another strategy to increase contractions—releases oxytocin



Contractions and “afterpains”

       Cramping with contractions
           o Does not usually occur in first time mothers: the more the body has been
                pregnant, the more the body has to work to shrink the stretched uterus.
       Usually occurs in:
           o Multigravida
           o Twins are large baby
           o Breastfeeding tends to increase afterpains
           o Last 2-3 days




Placental Site:

       Large and open wound
       Blood vessels pinched off; thrombi form, seal the site
       Eventually endometrial tissue forms over the raw area
       Scar tissues does not typically form
       Contractions help constrict blood vessels to clot where the placenta was



Lochia: Postchildbirth uterine discharge



Classifications of Lochia:

       Lochia Rubra: (1-3 days)
           o Consists almost entirely of blood with small particles of deciduas and mucus.
           o Small blood clots
           o For the first 2 hours after birth, amount is very similar to heavy menstrual flow.
       Lochia Serosa: (4-10 days)
           o Pink or reddish brown (old blood, leukocytes, tissue debris)


                                              48
             o   Watery
             o   No clots
             o   No odor to earthy like menses



      Lochia Alba (at 10 days)
          o Colorless to white (or yellow)
          o Can last 2-6 weeks in some women
          o After 6 weeks, it could signal a sign of infection




Amount of Lochia

      Increases with breast feeding and BF (what in the hell is BF? If someone knows, please
       tell me)
      Tends to pool when in bed; may “gush” when first getting up in the a.m.
      If on pitocin, scant amounts



Estimating amount of lochia

      Amount of staining on pad:
          o Scant: 1-2” stain 10ml
          o Light (small) 4” stain 10-25 ml
          o Moderate: 6” stain 25-50 ml
          o Heavy: (large): saturated in one hour; >6” stain      50-80 ml
      Time factor important
          o Pad that saturates in one hour vs. 8 hours




Watch for…

      Bright red bleeding with firm uterus laceration
      Check underneath patient
      Saturation of a pad in less than one hour is an abnormally heavy flow



C-section Lochia

      Lesser amount, but still goes through 3 stages
      The nurse may see later stages since the c-section patient is in the hospital longer



                                                 49
Cervix

        Immediately after delivery:
             o Soft, edematous; partially open, can admit two fingers
        Within 24 hours, rapidly shortens, becomes firmer, thicker
        May look bruised with multiple small lacerations
        By 7 days, external os changes from a round opening to a slit-like opening; size of a
         pencil opening



Vagina

        Greatly stretched
        Increased edema
        Small lacerations
        Very few rugae
        Estrogen (with ovulation) causes return to normal
        BF moms; ovulation is postponed; may experience vaginal dryness



Perineum

        Muscles are torn and stretched, swollen and reddened
        Vulva is deep red, velvety appearance
        Lacerations, bruising around opening
        Hemorrhoids, commonly seen. Usually decrease after childbirth



Episiotomy

        Surgical cut, midline or mediolateral to the upper vaginal outlet
        Also to prevent laceration
        Prevents pressure on infant’s head
        Usually heals with little inflammatory reaction
        Remember—the more the degree (ex. 3rd degree), the larger/more advanced the cut.
        An alternative to an episiotomy is the massage of the vaginal opening (sounds pretty
         kinky to me!)



Perineal lacerations



                                                50
       Occur when the head is being born
       Classification:
                  st
            o 1 degree: perineal skin, no muscle involvement
                  nd
            o 2 degree: laceration extends through muscles of perineal body
                  rd
            o 3 degree: continues through anal sphincter muscle
                  th
            o 4 degree: through anal sphincter and into rectum




Hematoma

       May be present
           o Severe pain and rectal pressure
           o Can cause tissue necrosis




OUCH!

       All of these conditions cause discomfort
       Relief of perineal pain is a nursing priority. Control pain!



Pelvic Muscle Support

       Pelvic floor muscles may require 6 months to regain tone
       Can lead to future problems
       Teach Kegel exercises



Endocrine system

       Human placental lactogen (hPL), estrogen, cortisol, and insulinase gone reverses
        diabetogenic effect.
            o Moms with type 1 diabetes require less insulin; their body is more sensitive to
               insulin.
       Decreased estrogen aids in the diuresis of fluids
       Decreased progesterone levels



Pituitary hormone and ovarian function—Prolactin

       In lactating women:
             o Levels remain elevated


                                                 51
           o  Suppresses ovulation for about 6 months
           o  May have menses even if not ovulating
      Non-lactating women:
          o Prolactin levels decrease; reach pre-pregnant state in 3-4 weeks
          o Ovulation at 27 days to 10 weeks
          o 70% resume menses by 12 weeks




Prolactin and breastfeeding

      Non-lactating women:
           o May still secrete colostrum for 2-3 days
                                                         rd
           o Engorgement of breast tissue occurs on 3 day, lasts 24-36 hours, usually
               resolves on own
           o Should wear tight bra to compress milk ducts; cold applications to reduce
               swelling.
      Lactating women:
           o High level of prolactin initiates milk production within 2-3 days
           o Continues to be produced by contact with nursing baby




Other hormones released

      Oxytocin
          o Produced by hypothalamus, stored in posterior pituitary
          o Increases tone and mobility of uterine muscles
          o Breast response:
                 Oxytocin stimulates release of milk into lactiferous ducts; increases
                    flow, NOT VOLUME, called “let-down” relex



Cardiovascular system

      Normal blood loss in delivery in a single infant is:
           o Vag: 500 ml
           o C/S: 1000 ml
      Cardiac output:
           o Transient increase in blood volume after baby is born
                    Increase in blood volume increases BP and lowers Pulse
                    Bradycardia: 50-70 BPM. This is very normal due to all of the shifting of
                       blood
           o Lasts about 48 hours or longer
           o Assess for LOC; dizziness, HA, confusion could indicate brain hypoxia
      Blood volume


                                             52
           o   Decreases due to:
                    Diuresis urine output is 3000 ml the first few days
                    Diaphoresis night sweats
      Blood clotting
           o During pregnancy increased fibrogen
           o Remains elevated until baby is born
           o Put mother’s at risk for DVT
      Blood values:
           o Greater loss of plasma than blood cells:
                    Increased hemoglobin
                    Increased hematocrit
           o WBC during first 10-12 days is 20-25,000. Could mask infection




Urinary system… 2 BIG problems

      Urinary retention
           o Much pressure on bladder and urethra during vaginal delivery
           o Decreased bladder tone
           o Edema of urethra
           o Decreased sensation to void
           o If epidural or spinal, feels no sensation until effects wear off
      Bladder distention
           o Due to postpartal diuresis within 12 hours
           o Should try to void within 1-2 hours
           o Bladder distention can lead to a very sad, boggy uterus.
      Lactosuria (presence of lactose/milk sugar) may be seen in nursing moms
      Slight proteinuria for 1-2 days



Gastrointestinal system

      Appetite—usually very hungry
      Constipation
          o Decreased muscle tone in intestines
          o Muscles used for defecation stretched
          o May be delayed until 2-3 days PP
          o Fear of pain from episiotomy and hemorrhoids




Musculoskeletal system

      Muscles and joints
          o Fatigue first 2 days PP


                                            53
            o Ligaments and cartilage return to normal
        Abdomen: first two weeks are relaxed
            o Soft and flabby; takes about 6 weeks to regain tone
            o Striae fade to silver-white, but never completely disappear
            o Diastasis of the recti muscle (separation due to reduced muscle tone)




Skin

        Mask of pregnancy, linea nigra usually disappear
        Striae do not disappear



Weight

        12-13 pounds lost at delivery
        5-8 pounds following week from perspiration and diuresis)
        19-22 pounds is the average weight loss



Major causes of maternal death in the postpartum period are infection and hemorrhage.



Assessment during the postpartal period

        4th stage—1 hour after placenta is delivered until stable
              o focus on preventing hemorrhage, rest; begin bonding with baby
        Postpartum period—4th stage to discharge
              o Prevent hemorrhage and infection; lactation; bonding; supervised care of baby;
                  psychological stages, and teaching
        Vital signs:
              o Important to monitor VS of PP patient
                       Vitals q15m x 1 hour, the q30m x 1 hour; q1h x 1 hour, q4h x 24
        Temperature
              o May be up first 24 hours if exhausted or dehydrated
                       Up to 100.4*F
                   th
              o 4 stage:
                       taken in recovery room once
                       should be normal or below due to hypothermia in L & D
              o PP period q4h
                                                                                     st
                       Temp of 100.4 or above on any two (after first 24 hours) of 1 ten PP
                         days = febrile. Assess for infection.
                                                                  rd th
                       Lactating women will have a temp on 3 or 4 day PP


                                               54
                                 Only lasts 12 hours
                                 Teach to call M.D. if temp is over 100 at home
         Pulse
              o  Transient Bradycardia of 50-70 BPM
              o  Tachycardia needs further assessment
              o  Pulse returns to normal within 1 week
         Blood pressure
                   th
              o 4 stage: slightly elevated from exhaustion, excitement
                       a drop means hemorrhage
                       check baseline from M.D.’s office
              o Postpartum
                       Should remain consistent with prelabor
                       An increase of 30 mmHg systolic or 15 mmHg diastolic or both could
                         indicate PIH
              o Orthostatic hypotension when getting up
                       Patient will appear dizzy, pale, or may faint
              o C-section
                       Could be decreased due to anesthesia & greater blood loss




Breasts

         Assess for (palpate):
              o Softness
              o Firmness
              o Filling, colostrum
              o Engorged
              o Cracks, fissures
              o Redness
         Clean, well fitting bra on at all times
         Very little change for 3-4 days; colostrum only
         Engorgement:
              o Acute discomfort for 24 hours
              o Empty breasts q2h—nurse/mechanical
              o May need to release milk before feeding
              o Ice packs or heat
              o May experience fever for 8-12 hours when engorged
         Cracked/Bleeding nipples:
              o Analgesics 30-60 minutes before nursing
              o Use least sore breast first,
                         Plastic shells rarely used (some hospitals require consent form)
                         NO plastic breast pads
              o Feed no longer than 5-15 minutes
              o Wash with water only; then air-dry
              o Lanolin, tea bags, vary the position
              o At discharge; teach breast self-exam


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GI/Abdomen

      Listen for bowel sounds (especially C/S moms)
      For diastasis recti
            o Gradual exercise can resume immediately
      C-section
            o Not as moveable due to dressings and staples; painful




Fundal check

      Empty bladder to avoid displacement
      Observe perineum while measuring fundus for clots and blood flow (Lochia, baby)
      If the fundus is soft and boggy, need to:
            o Check bladder
            o Check lochia amount, odor, quality
                    Massage to expel clots and tissue
            o Put baby to breast (stimulates contractions)
            o Check with M.D. immediately.
      Medications for the fundus crap:
            o Methergine po- causes tonic contractions (not very painful)
            o Pitocin IV- causes clonic contractions (painful)
            o BP must be lower than 140/90 to administer
                    Do not give IV and po simultaneously
      C-section:
            o Give analgesic before touching
            o Use only fingertips
            o Stays firm due to the pitocin in the IV




Education at discharge

      Teach how to find fundus lying flat on bed
      Teach how to massage
      Teach progression of involution and when to call M.D.
      Contraception, ovulation
      Increase in activity increases bleeding



Afterpains

      Uterus contracting with involution (pitocin in IV or oral methergine)

                                              56
            o Do not do fundal check; give analgesics and come back later
       Interventions:
            o Empty bladder
            o Lie prone
            o Leg lifts: contracts abdominal muscles; stimulates circulation
            o Analgesics 30-60 minutes before breastfeeding




Perineal Pain and assessment

       Turn on side and lift buttocks, use pen light to see, wear gloves (duh)
       Episiotomy mediolateral most uncomfortable
       Check for edema and ecchymosis—REEDA
            o R: redness
            o E: edema
            o E: ecchymosis (bruising)
            o D: Discharge/drainage
            o A: approximation
       Perineal Varicosities = discomfort
       Hemorrhoids



Nursing interventions for perineal pain:

       Prevent infection
            o Handwashing is #1
            o Change pads from front to back, do not touch inside
            o Peri care after each elimination—wipe with tissue front to back
       Provide comfort
            o Analgesia q4h if ordered
                     No aspirin!
            o Cold pack or ice in glove first 24 hours
                     On 20 minutes, off 20 minutes
            o After 24 hours; heat to increase blood flow
            o Sitz bath, spray, cream, witch hazel pads (tucks)
            o Teach Kegel exercises (handout)
       Teach how to sit:
            o Uncushioned chair or firm cushion, pillow on chair (no inflated rings)
            o Approach directly and flat
            o Perineum and buttocks contracted
            o Sit upright in back of chair




And more teaching…


                                                57
        Teach peri care with peri bottle
        Inspect carefully; may use mirror at home
        Teach signs of complications and infections
             o REEDA
             o Temp over 100
             o Increased pain
             o Pressure or fullness in vagina




Perineal care after C-section

        Perineum normal unless labored for a long period of time
        Hemorrhoids are still a reality
        Still needs peri care; will have lochia



Lochia

        Assess color and amount
        Teach proper peri care
        4th stage—use bedpan and peri bottle
        DO NOT touch inside of the pads
        Careful handwashing!
        Wipe front to back x 1 and discard, repeat until dry
        Teach stages of lochia
        DO NOT insert things into vagina



Lochia teaching at discharge

        Teach for signs of deviations from normal and when to call M.D.
             o Foul odor with or without fever
             o Clots or tissue in lochia—distinguish between the two
             o Fever over 100
        No tampons
        No sex while lochia persists
        Do not douche while lochia persists
        Prone position helps uterine descent and cramping



Lower extremities

        Assess for DVT

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      Early ambulation
      Leg exercises in bed



Constipation

      Early ambulation
      Regular high fiber diet, liquids; 8-10 glasses qd
      Exercise muscles (Check with M.D.)
      Stool softeners, supp., enema
      Sitz baths
      Peri products to lessen pain
      Should BM within 3 days



Urinary Elimination

      Void within 6-8 hours (100-300 ml) to prevent:
           o Assess frequently for distention
           o Often, must catheterize




Nutrition

      Hungry and thirsty after delivery
      Dehydrated if no IV
      Regular high fiber diet for all moms except C-section
      May eat or drink except for (C-sectioned moms in particular):
           o N/V or general anesthesia
           o Flat in bed due to epidural
           o Sedated, drowsy, unconscious
           o Diabetic, cardiac, toxemic
           o Any special diet ordered by M.D.
      The main dietary concern immediately after delivery—increase fluids to replace fluids,
       electrolytes, blood volume from:
           o Diaphoresis
           o Exertion
           o Fluid loss during delivery
           o Fluids to help with voiding
           o Maintain normal temp
           o Maintain adequate nutrition
           o Take slowly to decrease nausea
      Intermediate care:
           o Encourage to eat adequate diet and fluids


                                                59
            o   2000-2200 cal non-lactating
            o   2500-2700 cal lactating (500 more calories)
       C-section:
            o Post-op care, NPO, ice chips, clear liquids, soft diet
            o Progressive post-op diet
       Suppliments:
            o Prenatal vitamins until gone
                    Check Hbg and Hct




Sleep and rest:

       4th stage:
             o exhausted from birth experience and frequent nursing checks
             o provide privacy for mom, dad, and baby
             o Encourage to sleep!
       PP to discharge:
                       st
             o After 1 24 hours; ½ of time should be spent resting
             o Group your nursing activities
       Discharge:
             o Teach mom to sleep when baby sleep
                     Sleep deprivation leads to PPD
             o Assess for plan for help at home
             o Alteration in lifestyle disrupts sleep habits
             o May need to limit visitors and well-meaning friends




Comfort/PP Chill:

       Occurs in 4th stage
       Due to sudden release of pressure on pelvic nerves
       Fetus to mother transfusion during placental separation
       Keep warm- blankets, warm liquids



Discharge teaching:

       Teach all aspects of self-care
       Stress importance of keeping follow-up appointments
       Contraception
       When to call M.D.
            o Temp over 100
            o Pain: perineum, breast, abdomen, calf or leg
            o Persistent or reversal of lochia, clots, odor, tissue


                                                60
           o   Saturating more than one pad per hour
           o   Depression lasting two weeks or longer
           o   Uterus not descending
           o   C-section- open, draining, or odor of incision
           o   Burning on urination




                                  Postpartum Complications



Postpartum hemorrhage

      Major cause of maternal death
      Definition:
           o Blood loss after delivery >500 to 1000 ml/24 hours
      Classification:
           o Mild = 750-1250 ml
           o Moderate = 1250-1750 ml
           o Severe = 2500 ml
      Early
           o Within the first 24 hours
      Late
           o Anytime after first 24 hours through 6 weeks




Conditions that increase risk for PP hemorrhage

      Over distension of the uterus
           o Multiple births (triplets, etc)
           o Hydroamnios
           o Macrosomia
      Trauma r/t forceps, uterine manipulation
      Prolonged labor- tilted uterus
      Uterine infection
      Trauma removing placenta



Causes of Postpartum hemorrhage

      Uterine Atony: Uterus without tone
          o 90% of cases


                                              61
       o   uterine muscle unable to contract around blood vessels at placental site
       o   Causes:
                Deep anesthesia
                >30 years old
                prolonged use of magnesium sulfate
                previous uterine surgery
                mom exhausted
       o   Symptoms:
                May have 2” blood clots
                Blood may “gush” or come out slowly
                Is usually venous blood
       o   Therapeutic interventions
                Massage uterus, then,
                Give oxytocin drugs (pitocin or methergine po), then,
                Bimanual compression (BY DOCTOR), then,
                Administer prostaglandins (causes uterine
                   contractions) intramyometrium or IM, then,
                Hysterectomy or surgical repair (last resort)
       o   Nursing interventions:
                Blood transfusion
                Fundal massage
                Have patient void q4h or
                Catheterize if too much blood lost
                If SOB, give oxygen at 4L/NC
                Frequent vital signs




   Lacerations (large)
        o Cervical, vaginal, perineal
        o Causes by:
                 Forceps
                 Large baby
        o Symptoms- cervical
                 If uterine artery; bright red blood gushes out
                 Fundus is firm
                 Occurs at delivery, can be sutured
        o Symptoms- vaginal
                 Packing in place due to oozing of blood after repair
                 Remove packing in 24-48 hours (risk of infection increases)
                 Catheter in place
        o Symptoms- perineal
                 Different degrees
        o Nursing interventions for perineal lacerations:
                      rd    th
                 3 and 4 degree perineal lacerations- fecal incontinence
                 promote soft stools
                          roughage


                                         62
                          stool softeners
                          fluid
                          activity
                          NO enemas or suppositories




   Retained placenta
        o Fragments of placenta remained in uterus
        o Retained placental fragments cause decreased contractions
        o Some causes:
                 Massage prior to separation
                 Pulling on cord
                 Placenta “accrete”
                        Placenta actually grows into uterus
                        Cells of placenta (trophoblast) penetrate myometrium
                        Difficult for placenta to detach
        o Symptoms:
                 Large fragments
                        Patient bleeds immediately at delivery
                        Uterus is boggy
                 Small fragments
                                      th    th
                        Occurs at 6 – 10 day PP
                        Can cause subinvolution
        o Interventions:
                 Remove fragments (D & C)
                 Massage
                 Manual exploration
                 Observe placenta after birth




   Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC)
        o Deficiency of clotting ability
        o Caused by injury to blood vessel
        o Oozing of blood from IV site, other orifices
        o Very critical situation




   Perineal Hematoma
        o Collection of blood in subcutaneous layer of tissue in perineum
        o Symptoms:


                                          63
                      Bleeding is concealed; area of purplish discoloration/swelling on
                       perineum
                    Fundus firm
                    Pain or pressure in perineum and rectum
                    Unable to void
                    May have signs of shock with firm uterus and no vaginal bleeding
           o   Interventions:
                    Ice
                    Antibiotics
                    May need to do incision and evacuation, then suture




General Assessment Findings:

      Baseline H/H and history
      Condition of fundus
          o Boggy indicates atony
          o Firm fundus rules out atony, but bleeding could come from cervical laceration
      Look for symptoms of shock:
          o Pulse- rapid, thready
          o Pallor, chills
          o Air hunger, rapid respirations
          o Falling BP
          o Restless
          o Disturbed vision and hearing
          o Confusion, combative




General Nursing interventions

      Identify patients at risk for conditions
      Monitor fundus frequently if bleeding occurs; when stable, every 15 minutes for 1-2
       hours, then at usual intervals
      Monitor BP and pulse frequently
      Monitor character and amount of bleeding
      Administer medications, IV fluids as ordered
      Measure I & O
      Keep patient warm
      Monitor for signs of clotting defects with major loss (DIC) increased bleeding



Postpartum infection

      Infection of the reproductive tract associated with giving birth


                                               64
       Usually occurs within 10 days of birth
       Another leading cause of maternal death
       Predisposing factors:
            o Prolonged rupture of membranes (>24 hours)
            o C-section
            o Trauma during birth process
            o Maternal anemia
            o Retained placental fragments
       Infection may be localized or systemic
            o Local = can spread to peritoneum (peritonitis) or circulatory (septic).
            o Fatal to woman already stressed with childbirth
       Assessment findings:
            o Temp of 100.4 for more than 2 consecutive days, excluding the first 24 hours.
            o Abdominal, perineal, or pelvic pain
            o Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
            o Burning sensation with urination
            o Chills, malaise
            o Rapid pulse and respirations
            o Elevated WBC, positive culture and sensitivity
                     Remember, 20-25,000 is normal after delivery—MASKING infection.
       Nursing interventions
            o Force fluids; may need more than 3L/day
            o Administer antibiotics and other meds as ordered
            o Treat symptoms as they arise
            o Encourage high calorie, high protein diet
            o Position patient in a semi-Fowlers to promote drainage and prevent reflux
                higher into reproductive tract



Urinary tract infection

       May be caused postpartally by bacteria, coupled with bladder trauma during delivery, or
        break in technique during catherization.
       Assessment findings:
            o Pain in suprapubic area or at the lower costovertebral (between rib and
                vertebra)
            o Fever
            o Burning, urgency, frequency on urination
            o Increased WBC and hematuria
            o Urine culture positive for causative organism
       Nursing interventions
            o Check status of bladder frequently in PP patient
            o Encourage patient to void
            o Force fluids; may require 3L/day
            o Catheterize patient if ordered, using sterile technique
            o Administer meds as ordered


                                              65
              o   Continue to monitor labs



Perineal infection

       Infection at site of episiotomy
       Assessment:
            o Skin changes
            o Edema
            o Redness
            o Pain exudate
       Management:
            o Monitor site
            o Promote drainage
            o Provide clean environment
            o Include wash with peri bottle, sitz bath, exposure to air
            o Teach good personal hygiene




Endometritis

       Infection of endometrium involving superficial mucosal layer
       Signs:
            o Fundus does not descend
            o Fever and chills
            o Persistent foul lochia
            o Cramps
       Management:
            o IV therapy




Peritonitis

       Inflammation of the perioneum
             o Thin membranous tissue that extends from the pelvic cavity and is continuous
               with abdominal cavity
       Assessment:
             o Elevated temperature
             o Shaking and chills
             o N/V
             o Oliguria
             o Abdominal distension
       Management:



                                              66
            o   Treatment focuses on maintaining adequate circulation and intravascular
                volumes
            o   Antibiotic therapy



Thrombophlebitis

       Seen in veins of legs and pelvis
       Causes:
            o Injury
            o Infection
            o Normal increase in circulating clotting factors in pregnant and newly delivered
                woman
       Assessment findings
            o Pain/discomfort in area of thrombus
            o If in leg:
                     Pain
                     Edema
                     Redness over affected area
            o Fever and chills
            o Peripheral pulses may be decreased.
            o Positive Homan’s sign
            o If in deep vein, leg may be cool and pale
       Nursing interventions:
            o Maintain bedrest with leg elevated on pillow. Do not raise knee gatch on bed.
            o Apply moist heat as ordered
            o Administer analgesics as ordered
            o Anticoagulant therapy (usually heparin or lovenox)
                     Observe for bleeding
            o Observe for signs of pulmonary embolism
                     SOB
                     Dyspnea




                         Psychological changes in the postpartal period



Postpartal period:

       Time of change and adjustment to new role
       Reva Rubin, a nurse and pioneer in the field of maternal behavior




                                              67
Process of becoming acquainted:

      Bonding:
           o Initial attraction felt by parents toward their infant
           o Enhanced when able to touch and interact during the first 30-60 minutes after
              birth (touch and feel!).
      Attachment:
           o Process by which an enduring bond to an infant is developed over time
           o Different than bonding, more intense
      Mutual regulation:
           o A cueing system… each one sends out signals that can be read by the other.
                     Both the infant and the mothers needs are met
           o Crying, cooing, smiling “signaling behaviors”
                     Rooting, sucking, grasping; initiates and maintains contact with parents.
                       Brings parents near.
           o Baby makes his needs known; a process that continues throughout childhood.
      Reciprocity:
           o Reciprocal- interaction style
                     Pleasure and delight in each other develops
                     Mutual development of love and growth
                     Entrainment: appears to listen to voice and follow face; baby’s
                       movements synchronized with rhythm of parent’s speech



Maternal role attainment

      Process in which mother achieves confidence in her ability to care for infant



Phases of maternal role attainment:

      Maternal touch: Changes as mom get to know infant
           o Enface position: eye contact
      Fingertip exploration:
           o Discovery process
           o Attachment is started
           o May take minutes or hours
      Palmar touch: entire hand
      Enfolding: baby in arms, pressing him/her to body
      Identification: ID’s baby as her own; clarifies feelings—what he looks like and what he
       can do.
      Relating: Characteristics of baby related to familiar person (nose like grandpa’s)
      Interpreting: Gives meaning to baby’s actions—he’s going to be a big eater like Uncle
       Bob.



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Process of Maternal Adaptation

      Reva Rubin (1960’s) identified phases a mother goes through to:
           o Gain back energy lost during labor
           o Attain comfort in role of mother
           o Involves 3 phases:
                    Taking in
                    Taking hold
                    Letting go
      Taking in:
           o Passive-dependent stage (after delivery)
                    Time of reflection
                    Is passive
                    Wants others to meet her needs
           o Needs food, rest, in pain, very tired
           o Not a good phase for teaching
      Taking hold:
                                                nd
           o Dependent-independent stage (2 day)
           o May be insecure, but want to be independent
           o Begins to initiate action
           o This is the best time for teaching
           o Although independent, still insecure about role as a mother
           o Needs praise and encouragement
      Letting go:
           o Interdependent stage (occurs at home)
           o Redefines her new role. Accepts:
                    Physical separation of baby
                    That she is no longer childless
                    Dependency of the child
           o Suffers role strain:
                    How to handle work and home
                    Torn between the two
           o Needs anticipatory guidance by the nurse:
                    Help at home
                    Babysitter
                    Time alone with companion




A word about fathers:

      Mom’s preoccupation with baby can lead to jealousy
           o Encourage parents to talk freely and listen
           o Father may center attention on baby and ignore mom
      Father may need to be reassured about his role in the family


                                            69
           o   Dad needs to spend time alone with infant too



Postpartum blues:

      Adjustment disorder to a life event
      50-75% of moms experience it; cries for no reason
      Patients go home so early, nurses don’t see it often.
      Expect to see 3-5 days postpartum
      Teach signs and symptoms
      Severity and symptoms vary with each individual
      Incidences seem to be decreasing.
           o Better OB care
           o Better preparation for new role—Lamaze, etc.
           o Allowing verbalization of feelings
      May be called the “Baby Blues”.



Symptoms of postpartum/baby blues:

      Loss of energy and appetite
      Crying for no reason
      Anxiety and fear; feel overwhelmed
      Insomnia
      Concerned about her body
      Reads into what others say, especially husband
      Directs anger toward husband
      Irritable
      Self-absorbed



Why does Postpartum/baby blues occur?

      Stress of labor and birth
      Hormonal changes
      General physical adjustments to non-pregnant state
      Sex of child
      Dealing with reality of new baby
      Attention is shifted away from pregnant mom now to baby
      She may feel husband is placing her 2nd to baby
      Immaturity
      Family, social, economic problems
      No help at home
      Mother may verbalize:


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            o   Sensation of feeling unprotected
            o   Feeling of emptiness; compares to amputation
       Symptoms usually last 48 hours
       Give guidance before going home
       Need support; get help with baby & housework if needed, so mom can sleep
       Describe behaviors in charting



Postpartum depression- PPD

       Usually occur by 4th week PP, near menses, or at weaning
             o May occur up to one year PP
       In a fog
       Increase in irritability and anxiousness
       Crying
       Insomnia
       Somatic complaints
       Seclusiveness
       Excessive sleeping (while holding baby, etc.)
       Avoid baby
       Apathy toward husband
       Persists longer than 10 days
       Deepens
       Interferes with ADL’s
       Need professional consult
       Apparent within 3 months



Nursing responsibilities in PPD:

       Recognize symptoms
       Report to doctor
       Frequently happens within first 6 weeks at home



Most likely candidates in PPD:

       Mother with previous history of mental illness/instability
       Complicated pregnancy
       Stressful life situations
            o Abuse
            o More than 3 children
            o Single
            o Poverty


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            o Drug dependence
       Feeling incompetent
       Cultural differences, etc.
       Poor mother/daughter relationship leading to rejection of reproductive role
       Lack of early support, attention, dependable relationship with either parent
       Own parent’s not available; negative or preoccupied



Nursing Implications of psychological factors:

       Prime importance: strengthen maternal-child relationship
             o Encourage physical contact between mother and baby immediately after birth
             o Allow active participation in caring for child as soon as possible
       Assess factors influencing psychological adjustment
       Promote caring and supportive atmosphere so mother can freely express feelings and
        needs.
             o Allow mom to set own pace as to assuming responsibility of self-care and care
                 of child.
       Encourage fathers to actively participate in care of infant
       Encourage both parents to discuss with each other and nurse their reactions to
        parenthood and feeling about assuming new role
       Council parents about possibility of postpartal blues occurring after discharge from the
        hospital
       If symptoms persist or get worse:
             o Contact doctor
             o Medication or counseling may be needed
             o Support groups are available
             o Mental health centers
             o Parenting groups
             o National “DAD” hotline
             o May need hospitalization if threatens suicide or harm to baby




Preemies, children with deformities/disabilities, stillborn children:

       Anomalies
           o Difficult situation
           o Allow parents to talk
           o Allow parents to grieve
           o Say things like:
                    “This just isn’t fair”
                    “This is a lousy thing to have happened”
                    “You must be feeling very frightened”
       Premature baby:
           o Be sure parents see and touch baby as soon as possible


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        o    Take parents to NICU
        o    ALWAYS keep them informed of what is happening
        o    If transferred away from hospitalized mom:
                   Pictures are important
                   Phone calls 24 hrs/day to NICU nursery at Children’s
         o They’re often not ready for baby at home
                   Nursery, clothes may be needed
                   Thrown off schedule with work, etc.
                   Time, energy, money—long term effects
         o Explain to siblings
         o Do not forget the father in all of this
         o Don’t try to stop grief—allow her to express feelings
         o Encourage support groups
                   Preemies often have health problems; parents need support.
   Stillborn child
         o Parents need to see, touch, wash, and dress baby
         o Get footprints, pictures, lock of hair, ID band, name the child and use the name
             often.
         o If they don’t see their baby; the parents often never face reality and stuck in the
             grieving process.
         o Again, encourage to hold, rock, and cuddle their baby.
         o Allow and encourage them to take photos of their angel.




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