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Antenatal Care

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This essay is based on a case study (attached in the appendix) and basically examines the care given to a woman through her pregnancy to the time she gives birth. The case study involves a complication (episiotomy) and throughout the essay an effort is made to refer to the case study showing the relevance of what is being discussed to the case study. The essay is structured into three parts: the antenatal care, the post partum period and the post natal care.

Many changes are experienced during pregnancy. The changes are mainly hormonal and according to Dr. Cullin (2009, par. 1) include, “enlargement of the uterus, nipples and breasts and gaining of weight” (Cullin par. 1). Other changes may include reduction in sexual desire, constipation, aches and pains in the abdomen and lower back, skin texture change, nausea or vomiting, heartburn, tiredness and other discomforts which have not been experienced before.

In most cases pregnancies proceed without many complexities. However care should be taken to ensure that pregnancy proceeds in the correct manner to avoid later development of complexions due to oversights which were made early on. Some of the warnings to look out for include:

  • sudden weight gain for instance two pounds within one day
  • severe swelling of the ankles, feet or face
  • severe or frequent headaches which are quite persistent
  • fainting, flashes of light, and blurred vision
  • burning or pain during urinating
  • a sudden feeling of thirst
  • dramatic decrease or increase in urination
  • vaginal bleeding (light) and sometimes unusual discharge

Pregnant women ought to look for the light signs which indicate slight problems as well as those which indicate serious problems. One such sign indicating big complexity likely to occur is the occurrence of premature labour. The signs for premature labour include: strong uterine contraction every 10 minutes or less; the lower abdomen experiencing menstrual-like cramps repetitively; pelvic pressure which gives a feeling of the fetus pushing down; and sudden water breakings. 

The pregnant mother ought to take precaution against some substances which may affect the fetus which and not limited to teratogenic agents. Toralles et al., (2009, p. 1) defines teratogenic agents as, “physical, chemical, or biological agents or nutrient deficiencies that lead to fetal structural or functional alterations” (Toralles et al. p. 1). They argue that pregnant mothers ought to be sensitized on the effects of these agents on the developement of the pregnancy, the delivery process, and the post natal care for both the baby and the mother. Pregnant mothers should desist from the use of stimulants and foods which are not advisable to be used during pregnancy. This way, chances of developing complications are reduced (Pillitteri, 2007, p. 198; Toralles et al. p. 1).

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