The current essay deals with the implication of the prenatal period and its risks, including prenatal demise, miscarriages, and stillbirth on nursing practice.
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Prenatal nursing is an important medical practice that requires excellent knowledge of the natal process, maternity, and nursing care in general. Prenatal nurses play an important role in providing medical and physiological care for future mothers during and after their pregnancy. The prenatal nursing process is important because of nurses’nurses’ ability to detect early signs of prenatal problems, which may lead to miscarriages, stillbirths, and prenatal demises. Prenatal nurses can do many helpful tasks, including teaching natural techniques of birth, monitoring pregnancy, giving emotional and physical support, and promoting bonding of child and mother after its birth.
Prenatal nursing, as we see, is directed against potential problems and helps prevent them through early detection, stimulating treatments, and various screening, using adequate exercises, nutrition, vitamin utilization, etc.). Prenatal nurses create an active and flexible schedule for women to visit specialists, hospitals, making regular surveys and analyses.
It is important to note that prenatal nursing plays a crucial role in reducing the number of prenatal deaths, various birth effects, the low weight at birth, and other possible to prevent infant problems.
Prenatal mortality is higher where good prenatal testing and caring practices are not implemented. This proves the fact that prenatal nursing is important in modern days where future mothers came through various health problems.
Prenatal nurses, as was noted above, should have sufficient knowledge and skills to guarantee a stable prenatal period. For instance, among various prenatal practices, one is consuming at least 400 mcg of folic acid, which is used to prevent neural tube defects.
Prenatal nurses should guarantee that prenatal care consisted of permanent screening, analyses, and visits to prenatal specialists. In detail, it should consist of the monthly visits during several first trimesters (1-28 weeks), biweekly visits after 30 weeks of pregnancy, and weekly visits after the 36th week and until the birth period.
Prenatal nursing also includes emotional and physiologic preparation of future mothers to various examinations which are made in the prenatal period to define the quality of the prenatal process, fetus development, and woman’s general condition.
Among principal physical examinations, one should mention a collection of the future mother’s medical history, checking her blood conditions and pressure, her weight and height, conducting pelvic exams, making urine and blood tests, holding discussions with the caregiver.
During the second trimester of the prenatal period, obstetric ultrasounds are often made, and nursing specialists take an important part in mothers’ preparation for them, including taking necessary tests and procedures. Ultrasounds are used for monitoring the process of pregnancy and are considered to be relatively safe.
Ultrasounds are used in prenatal practices for checking for multiple fetuses, determining its sex, assessing possible problems and risks for the mother (including miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, blighted ovum, etc.), checking for fetal malformation and possible demise (including spina bifida, cleft palate, etc.) These prenatal practices are also often used for determining whether any growth retardation factors exist and the ways for their overcoming. Besides this, with the help of the ultrasound and the active part of nursing specialists, the development of the fetal body is tracked, including such organs as the liver, heart, stomach, skull, etc.).
Furthermore, during the prenatal period, a check of the amniotic fluids and the umbilical cord for possibly existing problems is conducted, and the due date of birth based on other analyses and tests is determined. After that, prenatal nurses play an active part in the organization of prenatal practices, procedures including diet, exercises, regular visits of specialists, etc. Ultrasound is used at different stages of pregnancy, depending on its character and current situation. It may be used to determine the further direction of prenatal care and development.
It should be noted that prenatal nurses should be aware of the most common situations which may lead to the termination of pregnancy due to health problems. Among them, miscarriage is one of the most widespread. Professional prenatal nurses know that one of the basic symptoms of miscarriage is bleeding, which may be a sign of threatened abortion. If bleeding occurs, the most likely consequence is a miscarriage, but not always does bleeding lead or signify miscarriage possibility. Miscarriage possibilities may be detected by ultrasound and prevented if necessary actions are taken by specialists – nurses play an important role in signaling these risks (Hutchon, 1998).
Another risk which prenatal nurses should be aware of, its stillbirth. The main symptom of it is the decrease or complete cessation of fetal activity. The minor changes in these activities may be detected using fetoscope or doptone and various instruments for electronic fetus monitoring (Lahra et al. 2007,p.229).
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It should be noted that stillbirth if detected lately, may cause a severe threat to a woman’s health and life, and hence fetus’sfetus’s death revelation should be a primary responsibility of prenatal specialists. Besides this, women may suffer strong emotional and psychological stress being aware of them carrying a dead child, and hence nurses should play an important function in counseling.
As our research shows, prenatal nursing is an important practice that is necessary for guaranteeing healthy pregnancy and birth. It helps avoid many risks, including stillbirth, miscarriage, etc., and requires excellent medical and counseling skills on the part of nurses.
Hutchon D. (1998). Understanding miscarriage or insensitive abortion: time for more defined terminology?. American Journal of Obstetrics Gynecology. 179 (2): 397-8.
Lahra, M.M., Gordon A., Jeffery H.E. (2007). Chorioamnionitis and fetal response in stillbirth”. American Journal of Obstetrics Gynecology. 196 (3): 229.e1-4.