Postpartum Nursing Diagnosis And Care For New Mothers
The time after delivery is known as postpartum. During this time, most mothers are vulnerable, emotionally, and physically drained, stressed. Apart from the family support, the mother still requires professional care to take care of her bodily needs. Therefore, they require hospital nurses to look after them.
Nurses have had a significant role in taking care of mothers after they have delivered their babies. Nurses understand what medical care a woman needs, and they have the expertise to take good care of the admitted mother. For this reason, most parents decide to stay in the hospital for a longer duration so the mother can receive the right care and treatment.
What is the postpartum nursing diagnosis?
A postpartum nursing diagnosis is an ancient term coined in 1953. The term refers to a nursing care plan. A woman needs to go back to her normal state. The plan emphasizes the need to identify the problem, communicate about it, and find a solution.
Nurses have had a unique and crucial role for decades. Their skills are matchless, and to use these extraordinary skills, the term postpartum nursing diagnosis gave nurses a pivotal status in a hospital, formulating plans that only nurses can pull-off.
What purpose does postpartum nursing diagnosis fulfill?
- Postpartum nursing diagnosis helps in formulating a plan, and that formulated plan further explains what has to be done. The treatment of the mother and her needs are fulfilled using this care plan. The main aspects that need to be highlighted are the diagnosis, steps that must be taken, and, subsequently, how to treat it.
- First of all, the identification of the problem is crucial. The formulated plans explain how to identify the health problems that may occur in women. This is typically recognized with the help of the signs and symptoms of the woman. It must be kept in mind that prompt diagnosis is required to avoid serious consequences.
- The diagnosis fairly includes the assessment of the and data collection. A thorough examination of the patient provides a cue for data collection. Similarly, whatever the patient says also goes into data collection.
- Once the problem has been identified, the postpartum nursing diagnosis explains the necessary steps that should instantly be adopted to avoid further deterioration of the health of the woman. The care plan has a detailed response to every postpartum health problem, but the skills to carry them out typically depend on the nurse’s expertise.
- In addition to this, the treatment plan is thoroughly explained in the postpartum nursing diagnosis. The vital steps that may help save the mother from severe health consequences are taken to ensure complete recovery.
Common postpartum health issues:
Postpartum health issues include both physical as well as psychological problems. Not only is the woman physically drained, but having a baby and the lifestyle changes may also take a toll on the woman’s mind.
Not all postpartum problems are mentioned in the postnatal nursing diagnosis. Some issues may include:
- Postpartum hemorrhage because of uterine atony, non-descent of the fundus, and urinary retention
- Fatigue due to stress and disturbed sleep schedule
- Constipation due to reduced fluid intake or fear of painful defecation
- Dehydration due to reduced fluid intake
- Inadequate nutrition mostly because of lack of education
- Potential for injury because of lightheadedness, syncope or orthostatic hypotension
Postpartum care in the first 24 hours:
A nurse has to look into a lot of factors once the baby is delivered. She has to take care of the mother’s and the baby’s needs.
- In the first 24 hours, what is crucial is to encourage a bond with the mother and the baby and the family, too. For this, the nurse must look into the history of the mother. The nurse will evaluate the impact of the baby on the family as well as the mother.
- It is important to know the impact of the newborn to build a bond of the baby with the mother and the family. For instance, if it is was an unplanned pregnancy, the nurse will assist the mother in building a bond and counsel her regarding the attachment with her baby.
- Similarly, the nurse will look into how smooth the labor was, whether it was a natural delivery or a c section. If it is was a c section delivery, then the nurse will see if the woman is still under anesthesia or not, and the nurse will also administer analgesia in case of a complaint of pain.
- It is part of the nursing diagnosis to counsel the mother related to the schedule right after birth. The nurse will inform the mother of how much activity the mother can do, what is done in case the mother is in pain and how the nurse her newborn. If the mother is unsure of the nursing techniques, the nurse can also send her help at home.
- The nurse will inform the mother of any diagnostics tests that are to be performed on her. As for previous diagnostic tests, the nurse will determine whether the mother is progressing or not.
- Women who were previously suffering from hypertension during their pregnancy will require extra care from the nurse. The nurse has to monitor the blood pressure every once in a while, to ensure that the patient’s blood pressure is under control.
- The nurse will advise the mother to buy a nursing bra larger than her regular size to accommodate the increased breast size as the breasts are engorged with milk during the nursing period. It is also necessary to counsel the mother related to taking care of her breasts. During nursing, it is common for a woman to suffer from an infection in the breasts.
- To help women fight it, the nurses will thoroughly examine the breasts for any signs of infections, cracks in the nipples, color changes in the breast, or for an unusual discharge. It is compulsory to keep the breasts healthy for the nurse the baby correctly.
- The nurse will constantly monitor the uterus’ size to monitor whether the uterus is going back to its prepregnancy size or not. Likewise, the typical vaginal discharge after delivery is called lochia. The nurse will assess the lochia for any abnormality.
Postpartum care after discharge:
A woman is usually discharged on the 3rd day of delivery, provided that there were no complications that can extend the stay. For an untypical case, the woman is allowed to go home early. It is because the woman feels much more comfortable at home, surrounded by the people she loves. She can eat whatever food she prefers and sleep in her bed.
- The nurse will make a postnatal schedule for the new mother and advise her to visit her doctor on those dates so the doctor can determine the mother’s health and her baby. Postnatal visits are mandatory because it helps in examining the woman. Even if the mother does not have any complaints, she must still visit her doctor.
- If an abnormality occurs, the doctor will pick it up during the postnatal visit in situations where the mother may have missed it or thought of it as harmless. For high risks mothers, the doctor will check for any sign that may indicate a health issue. Otherwise, the doctor will monitor her usual health.
- The nurse will also assess how well the mother and the family is doing with the baby. The nurse will also evaluate the bond between the mother and the baby, and if the mother has any concerns, the nurse will cater to her needs accordingly.
- For medications and the diagnostics tests, the nurse must check if the woman is compliant with her prescriptions, and her diagnostic tests are performed as required.
- It is important part of postpartum nursing care diagnosis to help the mother progress well during her postpartum period and help her live the life she did before her pregnancy.