Antepartum Care

  • Employment. As long as the job does not entail handling toxic substances or lifting heavy objects or excessive physical and emotional strain, there is no contraindication to working. It is important for the nurse to advise the pregnant woman to walk about every few hours of working long periods of standing or sitting to promote circulation.
  • Traveling. There are no travel restrictions during pregnancy. However, trips should be postponed on the last trimester of pregnancy. On long trips, it is advisable to allot about 15-20 minute of rest period every 2-3 hours to walk about or empty the bladder.
  • Exercises. The goal of prenatal exercises is to strengthen the muscle that will be used in labor and delivery. Exercise should be done in moderation. Recommend that moderate exercise should be done 30 or more minutes daily. Exercises where there is a risk of falling or abdominal trauma should be avoided. Adequate fluid intake before and after exercise should be practiced by the pregnant woman. The pregnant woman should stop the exercise and seek medical advice if she experiences the following:
  1. Chest pain
  2. Dizziness
  3. Headache
  4. Decreased fetal movement
  5. Signs of labor

Recommended Exercises during pregnancy:

  1. Squatting and tailor sitting
  2. Pelvic rock
  3. Modified knee-chest position
  4. Shoulder circling
  5. Walking
  6. Kegel’s exercise
  • Tetanus Immunization. Tetanus Immunization should be given to pregnant women.
  • Bathing. Daily baths protects pregnant women from infections that may develop if bacteria normally present on the skin are allowed to remain and multiply. Advise the pregnant woman to use nonskid pads in the tub or shower especially during the last trimester, when her balance is altered by a changing center of gravity and she is prone to falls.
  • Hot tubs and Sauna. Caution the woman not to be in sauna for more than 15 minutes or a hot tub for more than 10 minutes and to keep her head and chest out of water. Maternal hyperthermia, particularly during the first trimester may be associated with fetal anomalies.
  • Douching. Despite increased vaginal discharge, douching is unnecessary before, during or after pregnancy.
  • Breast care. Instruct the expectant mother to avoid using soap on her nipples because it removes the natural lubricant that forms on the nipples. Advise her to wear bra that fits well and supports her breasts to prevent loss of muscle tone that can occur as the breast becomes heavier during pregnancy.
  • Alcohol. Alcohol is a known teratogen and maternal alcohol use is a leading cause of mental retardation.

image courtesy of

Daisy Jane Antipuesto RN MN

Currently a Nursing Local Board Examination Reviewer. Subjects handled are Pediatric, Obstetric and Psychiatric Nursing. Previous work experiences include: Clinical instructor/lecturer, clinical coordinator (Level II), caregiver instructor/lecturer, NC2 examination reviewer and staff/clinic nurse. Areas of specialization: Emergency room, Orthopedic Ward and Delivery Room. Also an IELTS passer.

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