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Patient Education

Self Care Checklist

FIRST TRIMESTER

DISCOMFORT CAUSES SELF-CARE MEASURES
Nausea
and Vomiting
  • increased levels of hormones
  • changes in carbohydrate  metabolism
  • emotional factors and fatigue   
  • avoid odors or causative factors
  • eat dry crackers or toast before arising in morning
  • avoid greasy or highly seasoned foods
  • take dry meals with fluids between meals
  • drink carbonated beverages
Urinary
Frequency
  • Pressure of uterus on bladder in both first and third trimester 
  • void when urge is felt
  • increase fluid intake during the day
  • decrease fluid intake only in the evening
Breast
Tenderness
  • increased levels of estrogen and progesterone 
  • wear well-fitting support bra  
Increased
vaginal discharge 
  • increased production of mucus due to increased levels of estrogen
  • daily bathing, no douching, cotton panties 
Nasal stuffiness and nose bleeds
  • elevated estrogen levels 
  • sometimes a cool air vaporizer may  help

SECOND AND THIRD TRIMESTERS 

DISCOMFORT CAUSES SELF-CARE MEASURES
Heartburn
  • increased levels of progesterone
  • decreased movement in the intestines
  • displacement of the stomach from the enlarged uterus
  • eat small frequent meals
  • may use low sodium antacids
  • avoid overeating fatty and fried  foods
  • avoid lying down right after eating 
Ankle Edema  
  • prolonged standing or sitting  decreased circulation in the legs
  • elevate legs when sitting or resting
  • avoid tight or restrictive clothes around the legs
Varicose
Veins
  • decreased blood flow in legs
  • hereditary factors, age and weight 
  • elevate legs frequently
  • wear supportive hose
  • avoid crossing legs at the knees
  • standing for long periods of time
Hemorrhoids
  • constipation
  • increased pressure on the rectum from the uterus and  baby 
  • avoid constipation
  • apply ice packs
  • topical ointment such as tucks pads
  • warm soaks 
Constipation
  • pressure of uterus on large  intestines
  • iron supplements
  • diet
  • lack of exercise
  • decreased fluids
  • increase fluid intake
  • fiber in diet
  • exercise
  • develop regular bowel habits
  • use stool softener as directed by your doctor
Backache
  • increased curvature of the lower back as the uterus enlarges
  • fatigue
  • poor posture
  • maintain proper posture
  • practice pelvic tilt exercises
  • avoid uncomfortable high-heeled shoes
  • get enough rest
  • use pillow to support your back while resting
Leg Cramps
  • imbalance of calcium/  phosphorus ratio
  • increased pressure of uterus on nerves
  • fatigue
  • poor circulation to legs
  • practice flexing the feet in order to stretch affected muscles
  • eat balanced diet
  • apply heat (warm not hot) to affected muscles 
Faintness
  • change in blood pressure  when changing positions
  • standing for a long periods of time in one place
  • anemia
  • arise slowly from resting position
  • avoid prolonged standing in warm or stuffy environments
  • refer to physician for evaluation of blood counts
Difficulty
Breathing
  • decreased capacity of the lungs from pressure of the enlarging uterus on the diaphragm
  • use proper posture when sitting  and standing
  • sleep propped up with pillows for  relief if problem occurs at night

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