Minor Disorders of Pregnancy
Minor disorders are only disorders that occur during pregnancy and are not life threatening.
1. Nausea and vomiting- This presents between 4 and 12weeks gestation. Hormonal influences are listed as the most likely causes. It is usually occurs in the morning but can occur any time during the day, aggravated by smelling of food.
· Reassure the mother
· Small frequent meals (dry meals)
· Reduce fatty and fried containing foods.
2. Heart burn: - is a burning sensation in the mid chestregion. Progesterone relaxes the cardiac sphincter of the stomach and allows reflex of gastric contents into esophagus. Heart burn is most troublesome at 30-40 weeks gestation because at this stage is under pressure from the growing uterus.
· Small and frequent meal, sleeping with more pillows than usual.
· For persistence/sever case/ prescribe antacids.
3. Pica: - This is the term used when mother craves certainfoods of unnatural substances such as coal, soil...etc. The cause is unknown but hormones and changes in metabolism are blamed.
Seek medical advice if the substance craved is potentially harmful to the unborn baby.
4. Constipation: - Progestrone causes relaxation anddecreased peristaltic activity of the gut, which is also displaced by the growing uterus.
Increase the intake of water, fresh fruit, vegetables and ruphages in the diet.
Exercise is helpful especially walking
5. Backache - The hormones sometime soften thesegments to such a degree that some support is needed.
· Advice the mother to sleep on firm bed.
· Advice support mechanisms of the back.
6. Fainting: - In early pregnancy fainting may be due to thevasodilation occuring under the influence of progesterone before there has been a compensatory increase in blood volume. The weight of the uterine contents presses on the inferior venacava and slows the return of blood to the heart.
Manageemnt: Avoid long period of standing
· Sit or lie down when she feels slight dizziness
· She would be wise not to lie on her back except during abdominal examination
7. Varicositis- Progesterone relaxes the smooth muscles ofthe veins and result in sluggish circulation. The valves of the dilated veins become insufficent and varicositis result. It occurs in legs, anus (hemorrhoids) and vulva.
· Exerciseing the calf muscles by rising on the toes
· Elevate the leg and rest on the table
· Support tighs and legs
· Avoid constipation and advise adequate fluid intake.
· Sanitary pad give support for vulva varicositis
Most minor disorders can be advanced into a more serious complication of pregnancy. The disorders require immediateactions are as follows (Danger signals of pregnancy)
· Vaginal bleeding
· Reduced fetal movements
· Frontal or recurring headaches
· Sudden swelling
· Rupture of the membrane
· Premature onset of contractions
· Maternal anxiety for whatever reason
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