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Advice to the Pregnant Woman
Mother craft talk should be an integral part of antenatal care. Mothers want the best for their babies so they are ready to learn and comply with the instructions that promote their health and that of the baby. Health instruction should be given in a simple and interesting manner.
Pregnant woman should imbibe practice that promote personal and environmental hygiene. Bath regularly, clothing especially under wears must be kept clean. Home surroundings, cooking utensils should be kept clean.
Fresh Air & sunshine: Women are encouraged to have adequate sunshine (e.g. women in Purdah) morning sunshine generates vitamin D which is necessary for development of bones. Fresh air is essential at night and overcrowding should be avoided.
Recreation and Exercise: Mild exercise should be encouragedstrenuous exercises, lifting of heavy weight should be avoided. She should not climb high object as this may cause loosing of balance and fainting, long standing predisposes to varicose veins.
· It provide a change of scenery
· It stimulate appetite and aid elimination
· it stimulate circulation and induces
· Restores good abdominal muscle tone.
Travel: This should be discouraged from traveling on longdistance depending on the age of the pregnancy. By road: at early and late pregnancy
Train: Late Pregnancy
Air: Late Pregnancy. Otherwise at low attitude.
Rest and Sleep: A pregnant woman must have adequate rentduring the day. Adequate rest conserves energy and increases circulation of blood circulation to the uterus. One to two hours during the day and about nine hours in the night. A good warm bath in the night and a cup of warm drink induces natural sleep.
Suitable clothes: Clothing
Women can be as elegant and femine as at any time even in pregnancy. She can enjoy a normal social life provided it will not interfere with the pregnancy. Dresses that are loose and cool will allow normal expansion of uterus. Dresses must be neat, comfortable of washable materials and attractive. Brassiere should be the one with big cup, loose, bread, long and adjustable straps. It should not depress the nipples.
Maternity corsets if not tight are good as this restores laxed abdominal muscles.
All clothing must be kept clean by washing especially the under wears.
Shoes: Low heels with broad base 4.5cm are advisable.
Bowels: Because of the effect of progesterone there is laxity in thealimentary canal but this should not lead to constipation. Plenty of fluids roughages should be encouraged during and in between meals. A cup of water early moving is good. Roughages, whole wheel bran fruits and vegetables also mild exercises will aid eliminations. She should form good habit of opening bowels e.g. in the mornings.
Care of the teeth: the previous belief that calcium is withdrawnfrom the mother’s teeth to is baby is not true. Instead the calcium is withdrawn from the mother’s bones. Care of the teeth is however important is pregnancy. She should eat a lot of food that contain calcium flouride.
Bathing: a pregnant woman needs to keep her skin clean andactive. A daily bath is ideal. A cold bath is comfortable especially on a hot day and a warm bath is suitening and will make her relax well.
Alcohol: It is advisable to stop during pregnancy. Intake is relatedto vitamin deficiency (mineral) Major cause of coronary health disease, stroke & chronic bronchitis, lungs and other cancers.
Smoking: Smoking is associated with reduced fertility, earlymenopausal, placenta praevia, abroption, premature labour, low birth weight, wheezing in early childhood, Otitis media etc.
This can lead to reduction of oxygen concentration volume in pregnancy and leading to abortion. Smoking is habit forming; smokers do not eat well resulting to reduced nutrition to the baby and herself. She should reduce the smoking to the barest minimum or stop it completely if possible.
Marital relation: Sexual Intercourse coitus should be discouragedin early pregnancy especially cases of previous abortions as this can lead to premature uterine contractions. Prostaglandin in semen can aid uterine contraction in late pregnancy. Vaginal deodorants lower the normal vaginal PH and growth of microorganisms. If it has to be the husband should to be gentle and adapt safe position.
Care of the breast: Breast must be well developed; nipples mustbe erect with loose areola tissues. She should keep the breast clean by washing with soap and water with particular attention to the nipples. Good nutrition helps to develop the breast and prepare the breast for lactation in puerperium. Nipples should be pulled out and olive oil applied to moisten them. Malformation should be corrected during pregnancy.
Good well supporting brassiere must be worn; cup should be rooming without depressing the nipples.
Drugs: Should be advised to take only those drugs that wereprescribed by doctor
The midwife needs to advise a pregnant woman on good diet in quality and not quantity. Her diet need not to be changed but improvement on types, preparation and preservation. The aims of diet in pregnancy should provide for the needs of the growing fetus, maintenance of maternal health, alleviation of minor disorders, physical strength and vitality during labor and successful lactation.
Protein, Carbohydrate, Fat, Vitamins, Minerals, Fluids and Roughages. Emphasis must be put on the preparation in order to preserve the nutrients.
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