The minor disorders of pregnancy
These are conditions in pregnancy that are not threat to life but can distress the woman, making life miserable and undermine her health. Even if they can not endanger life, they should not be ignored or treated lightly. They can interfere with nutrition, sleep, outdoor recreation and normal household cores. These conditions should not be accepted as a normal associate of pregnancy but should be treated and alleviated. Minor disorder may escalate and become a serious complication of pregnancy.
The role of the midwife is to health educate the woman in order to tolerate the changes in pregnancy and her anxiety will be alleviated.
Causes can be due to hormonal, accommodation, metabolic and postural changes. Every system of the body changes and is affected by pregnancy.
This occurs mainly in late pregnancy. It may be due to discomfort from fetal movement, frequency of micturation or difficulty in finding a comfortable position to lie. It may also result from anxiety or fear. It should not be ignored simple warm bath and hot or warm beverage at night may help. Mild sedation could be given (e.g. barbiturate, valium). Good counseling can be very effective – Early to bed, explain the situation to enable her cope with the reality.
Numbness and pins and needles ‘tingling in the fingers and hands. It occurs usually in the morning but can occur anytime. It results from fluid retention which causes oedema and pressure on the median nerve. It resolves immediately after delivery. Doctor may prescribe diuretics but conservative treatment is better splint the hand at night and raise high on 2-3 pillows.
Occurs as a result of poor oral hygiene and diet poor in vitamins and calcium intake. Patient develops poor appetite and anaemia may result. Can be treated with vitamin B – Complex - and food rich in vitamins and calcium, fruit and improving on oral hygiene.