Pregnancy Symptoms That Lead to Problems

Afza.Malik GDA

Health Problems Caused By Pregnancy 

Pregnancy Symptoms That Lead to Problems

Pregnancy and Nursing Concerns,Nutrition, Obesity and Gastrointestinal Issues In Pregnancy,Physical Activity and Exercise,Relive of Symptoms,HIV Prevention During Pregnancy,Adolescence Pregnancy and Health Issues,Aspects of Pregnancy and Nursing Research,Use of Labor Inducing Medicines,Conclusion.

Pregnancy and Nursing Concerns

    Nurses continue to conduct research in various areas related to pregnancy. Predominant areas of inquiry include nutrition/obesity/gestational weight gain, physical activity and exercise during pregnancy, the experience and symptoms of pregnancy, HIV prevention and care, preventing negative consequences of adolescent pregnancy, care during labor and birth, and health promotion.

Nutrition, Obesity and Gastrointestinal Issues In Pregnancy 

    Nutrition, obesity, and gestational weight gain can impact birth outcomes and how well a woman feels during pregnancy. Nutrition research has focused on identifying optimal nutrition during pregnancy to promote fetal growth and development while preventing excessive maternal weight gain (Bechtel-Blackwell, 2002; Wiles, 1998). 

    Excessive weight gain during pregnancy can contribute to postpartum weight retention and long-term weight gain and later obesity (Walker, 1996). Adequate nutrition during pregnancy influences maternal weight gain. Pattern of weight gain during pregnancy is significant. Nurses have been instrumental in researching patterns of gestational weight gain associated with optimal birth outcomes. 

    Obesity results from an imbalance of energy. Over time, when more nutrients are consumed than burned, weight gain occurs. Over time excessive nutrient intake results in weight gain and obesity. Excessive weight gain during pregnancy, particularly over multiple pregnancies, contributes to overweight and obesity in women. 

    Women who begin pregnancy are overweight are at higher risk for increased gestational weight gain, postpartum weight retention, and complications of pregnancy, including malpresentation, arrested labor, and instrumental delivery.

Physical Activity and Exercise 

    Physical activity and exercise have been another predominant theme of nurse researchers who study pregnancy. While it has been known for quite some time that exercise and physical activity have benefits at every life stage, exercise research during pregnancy has expanded in recent years. 

    This expansion is partly due to the problem of obesity and excessive weight gain during pregnancy, but also because exercise has been a useful modality in health promotion and disease prevention efforts. For example, pregnant women who exercise on a regular basis have improved birth outcomes and more energy. 

    Recent investigations have focused on the use of exercise during pregnancy to prevent and treat hypertensive disorders and to keep weight gain within normal limits, as recommended by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) based on pre- pregnancy body mass index (BMI).

Relive of Symptoms 

    Symptoms of pregnancy and their relief are another focus for nurse researchers. Maloni and others have extensively investigated the symptoms of women placed on bed rest during pregnancy ( Maloni , Kane, Suen, & Wang, 2002; Maloni & Schneider, 2002; Maloni , Brezinski-Tomasi , & Johnson, 2001). 

    Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy have also been investigated (Steele, NM, French, Gatherer-Boyles, Newman, &Leclaire , 2001; O'Brien, Evans, & White-Me-Donald, 2002; Zhou, O'Brien, &Socken , 2001). FH Chou, Lin, Cooney, Walker, and Riggs (2003) found that depressive symptoms were correlated with nausea and vomiting and that social support was negatively related to nausea and vomiting. 

    Depressive symptoms were also found to be correlated with fatigue; however, the investigators did not examine which symptom appeared first. 

    Other researchers have examined the pregnancy experience among various groups, including adolescents with a planned pregnancy (Montgomery, 2000, 2001, 2002), adolescent mothers, women with a high-risk pregnancy, women with pregnancies conceived via in vitro fertilization, women pregnant with multiples, pregnancy after previous loss, and the experiences of new fathers (Finnbogadottir , Svalenius , & Persson, 2003). 

    In addition, pregnancy and childbirth experiences of women of various cultures have been investigated.

HIV Prevention During Pregnancy

    HIV prevention and care during pregnancy have also been investigated by nurse researchers. HIV-positive pregnant women are a diverse group. Many women discover their HIV status following conception. However, with increasing frequency women who are HIV-positive are planning to become pregnant. 

    Nurse investigators have examined HIV-positive women's desire for pregnancy despite their HIV disease and found that women do not wish to give up the experience of motherhood and that they have a healthy focus on living life and not limiting themselves-selves based solely on their HIV diagnosis (Sowell &Misener , 1997). 

    Women also noted that with current medical advances their chances of having a healthy pregnancy and uninfected infant are better than ever before. HIV-positive women need a tremendous amount of support and care during pregnancy and beyond. Nurses have taken the lead in identifying the specific needs and care for this group of women.

Adolescence Pregnancy and Health Issues

    While the rates of adolescent pregnancy have decreased in recent years and continue to decline, there are still nearly 1 million adolescents who become pregnant each year. Nurses have investigated various support and education programs to assist these young women with pregnancy and the transition to motherhood ( Nuguyen , Carson, Parris, & Place, 2003). 

    Successful programs begin during pregnancy and continue through the child's early years. The focus of these programs is health promotion and teaching, illness prevention, social support, accessing services, and networking ( Koniak -Griffin et al., 2003). 

    Nurse researchers have also examined HIV prevention among pregnant adolescents who are often at risk because they lack resources, social status, and knowledge to protect themselves (Lesser, Oakes, & Koniak - Griffin, 2003).

Aspects of Pregnancy and Nursing Research

    Nurse researchers have investigated various aspects of care during labor and birth, including labor and pushing management among women with epidural anesthesia (Mayberry, Strange, Suplee , & Gennaro, 2003), use of birth plans (Lundgren, Berg, & Lindmark, 2003) , labor support by nurses and others, cultural variations in the labor and birth experience (Callister, 2004), child birth education strategies, and pain reduction with interventions such as ice (Waters & Raisler , 2003 ) . 

    MR Sleutel (2002) developed and tested the Labor Support Scale with positive results.

Use of Labor Inducing Medicines 

    Additional areas related to labor and birth that need to be examined include excessive rates of labor inductions present in many hospitals throughout the US, Cesarean sections on demand, implications of increased physician malpractice insurance leading to few physicians attending deliveries and how this affects nursing care, birth outcomes, and the practice of certified nurse midwives (CNMs). 

    Complementary and alternative therapies to relieve labor pain also warrant additional research by nurses.


    Pregnancy is one of the few instances in which health promotion efforts can have a direct and immediate impact. Various nurse researchers have investigated health promotion during pregnancy in both a general sense of health promotion behaviors and specific behaviors, such as nutrition in pregnant adolescents (Symon &Wrieden , 2003), physical activity, smoking cessation ( Maloni , Albrecht , Thomas, Halleran , & Jones, 2003), and drug and alcohol avoidance. 

    Considerable research effort has also focused on prevention of abuse and violence during pregnancy (Denham, 2003). The vast majority of research with pregnant women has been focused on birth outcomes, including rates of live birth, prematurity, low birth- weight, congenital malformations, and other complications of pregnancy, labor, and/or birth.

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