Postpartum Care Overview (00:53)
The nurse should use the short postpartum stay to prepare the mother to go home. Care focuses on monitoring physical changes as the body returns to a non-pregnant state, educating the parents, and providing emotional support.
Physiologic Changes (06:31)
After delivery, the uterus continues contractions in a process called involution. The cervix closes slowly and the vagina and perineum show edema and bruising. Estrogen and progesterone production decreases and prolactin increases. Other changes include bowel sluggishness, altered or diminished voiding reflex, and increased urinary output.
Physical Assessment (03:11)
During the first 12-24 hours, nurses should assess the patient's vital signs, fundus, perineum, lochia, level of consciousness, deep tendon reflex, respiratory rate and breathe sounds, skin temperature and color, apical pulse, IV intake and output, and Homan's sign. View a demonstration of fundal palpation. Assess breasts for heat, engorgement, nipple tenderness, pain, and abnormal discharge.
Assessing the C-Section Patient (01:45)
Postpartum assessments for cesarean deliveries are the same as for vaginal deliveries, with a few additions. The abdominal dressing is checked regularly for bleeding, swelling, redness, drainage, or incision separation. Encourage coughing and deep breathing for lung ventilation. In cases of spinal or epidural anesthesia, evaluate for return of sensation and leg movement.
Psychological and Emotional Support (03:44)
First time mothers commonly have concerns about breastfeeding. Women having delivered by C-section may feel inadequate. The nurse should observe the mother's skill with her infant, and intervene only when necessary. A mild form of depression is common in the first days following delivery. View signs of postpartum depression.
Credits: Caring for the Postpartum Patient: Obstetrical Nursing (00:32)
Credits: Caring for the Postpartum Patient: Obstetrical Nursing
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