• Early and regular antepartal (before-birth) care is critical. First trimester health directly influences the development of organs in embryo and fetus.
• To identify risks, nurses need both subjective (client’s) and objective (the nurse’s own) assessment data.
• Prescribed medications, over-the-counter drugs, alcohol and tobacco may lead to problems for the fetus and woman.
• Pregnancy diet must include increased calcium, protein, iron and folic acid.
• If the client’s situation warrants, suggest ways to adapt activity, employment, and travel.
• It is helpful if the woman can have the same support person throughout pregnancy and birthing classes.
• Maintain safety and asepsis (sterilize instruments; wear gown, gloves, mask) through the labor and birth process to reduce risks to mother and fetus/newborn.
• Ideally, same caregivers stay through all stages of labor.
• Recognize urgent signs and act promptly.
• Constantly assess and analyze problems to prioritize actions.
• Reinforce the childbirth preparation techniques practiced by the couple during pregnancy.
• Effective teaching during labor must be flexible. Mother will have shorter attention span, increasing discomfort, and emotional responses to labor.
• Promote privacy of the woman and support person as much as possible.
• Respect the cultural and religious beliefs of the woman and partner.
• Involve the family in the birth process as noted in their birth plan or special requests.
• Provide for the woman’s needs and comfort.
• Communicate caring and concern to the woman and her family through therapeutic techniques.
• Document assessments, changes in condition and care as promptly as possible.