«PREGNANCY AND HEALTH SKILLS SKILL ASSESSMENT The following questions will help you identify the skills in which you excel and target those which you ...»
PREGNANCY AND HEALTH SKILLS
The following questions will help you identify the skills in which you excel and target those which you
need to develop. By yourself or with your team, try to answer each of the questions as honestly as possible.
After completing this independent living skill assessment, review it with your team and
identify those skills you would like to strengthen.
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1. Understand why early and regular pre-natal care (going to the doctor is important for a healthy normal baby.
2. Understand that on the first visit to the obstetrician, he/she will ask for the mother’s complete medical history and father’s history, if known.
3. Understand why the doctor will ask the patient questions about herself and father, if they smoke, drink, take any medications/drugs, etc.
4. Understand why the obstetrician will monitor a woman’s weight during pregnancy.
5. Understand how the doctor can estimate when the baby will be born.
6. Understand why it is so important for the mother-to-be to go to the doctor/clinic for regularly scheduled check-ups.
7. Understand why a woman must immediately report to the doctor any unusual pain, bleeding, or swelling.
8. Understand what physical changes will occur in a woman’s body during pregnancy.
9. Understand why it is normal for a woman to experience many different emotions (joy, fear, pride, sadness, guilt, etc.) during pregnancy.
10. Understand why it’s important for a woman to talk about these feelin
You have now completed the assessment section and identified those pregnancy and health skills that you would like to strengthen in order to make better decisions on your own. The following guide can help you in planning how you can learn about and practice these skills. Choose a few skills that you want to develop and, with your team, write down your plan of action. Remember, once you accomplish these goals you can go back to you assessment tool and select new goals to build your new skills.
TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF AND YOUR PARTNER DURING
PREGNANCYTaking care of yourself and/or your partner is vital in promoting a healthy pregnancy and reducing the risks of complications and birth defects. Mothers-and fathers-to-be must learn about healthy diets, regular prenatal appointments, rest, and all other factors that contribute to physically taking care of oneself. In addition, it is important for both parents to know what to expect and how to deal with thoughts, feelings and challenges that may come up during this time. Finally, it is important to prepare for the birth of your child by making all necessary arrangements, which include skills that range from caretaking to obtaining furniture and baby items. This is also a time to think about what kind of changes you will have to make (i.e. day care, living situation) to accommodate a child’s needs. There is much work ahead of you. But don’t get discouraged! If you organize yourself, use supports offered, and take one step at a time, you will get a lot accomplished. In addition to each of the individual sections on pregnancy and birth, you also must begin to work on skills targeted in the caretaking, parenting and safety sections of this module to obtain skills and knowledge needed to care for your baby.
Let’s look at tasks, expected changes and necessary accomplishments for both mother and father, a trimester (3 months of pregnancy) at a time.
FIRST TRIMESTER (1-3 months)
PHYSICAL CHANGES/SYMPTOMS THE MOTHER-TO-BE SHOULD EXPECT
• Breasts will grow (until about the fifth month of pregnancy) and as they get larger, they may feel tender. Expect the brownish circle around each nipple (areola) to get darker also. Make sure you wear a bra that gives you good support because you don’t want your breasts to sag later.
ACTIVITYIf necessary, you will need to buy a new, larger size bra that fits you properly and offers sufficient support.
Father: Remember, it is your responsibility to financially assist your partner in purchasing maternity clothes. You may want to accompany your partner to the store or mall and assist her financially in obtaining bras.
• You may notice that you have to go to the bathroom more often. During the first few months, the growing fetus and the uterus press on the bladder where the urine is stored. Even if you are bothered by frequent urination, it is important to drink 6-8 glasses of fluid every day.
• You may feel nauseous or have to vomit. That is called morning sickness, although it does not only occur in the morning.
ACTIVITYIf you have morning sickness, try eating a few crackers before getting up in the morning, or when you feel sick. For breakfast, try eating dry toast. Eating 4-6 small meals a day, or light snacks between meals, may also help you. If certain smells bother you, get some fresh air.
Father: Morning sickness is no fun! You may want to help out by being supportive and carrying crackers with you and eating small meals with your partner.
• You may feel tired and more sleepy than usual.
During pregnancy, you will need 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night. It is also a good idea to rest during the day. The amount of sleep and rest you need will depend, in part, on how active you are. So, look at your schedule and make sure to adjust all your activities in order to get plenty of rest.
Father: You may want to run errands, help with chores and task, etc. to assure that the mother-to-be is getting enough rest.
• While doctors agree that there is no medical reason to stop having sexual intercourse when pregnant (except if you have pain, bleeding, or cramping during or after making love—and in such cases, you should see a doctor), it is possible that your feelings about sex may change while you are pregnant. You may be more or less interested in it.
Whatever your feelings or changes in your sexual desires, talk them over with your partner.
Father: You must be understanding and supportive of any changes in her sexual desires.
• It is common for pregnant women to feel faint or dizzy after they have been standing for long periods of time or when they stand up too quickly.
Try and remember to stand up slowly. If you feel dizzy, sit down and put your head between your knees. This should make you feel better. If you feel faint or dizzy frequently, consult your doctor.
Father: Remind your partner to stand up slowly and not to stay on her feet too long.
Offer her a hand to support her when she gets up. Ask her frequently how she feels.
• Having a heavy discharge (white stuff) in your underpants is normal.
Take frequent baths or showers to help you feel clean. If the discharge gives you a burning sensation, itchy feeling, or has a bad smell, call your doctor.
Father: You may feel uncomfortable about some physical changes that come along with pregnancy, but remember—so may she. Talking about it and becoming educated will make it easier for both of you.
I. Answer True or False to each of the statements below. (Answers follow the questions.
1. The developing baby is protected and can move freely within the fluid-filled amniotic sac inside the mother’s body.
2. The placenta is a sponge-like sac, which transmits nourishment and oxygen from the mother to the baby and gets rid of waste.
3. Sugar or albumin (protein) in the urine is normal during pregnancy.
4. A simple blood test can give the doctor necessary information about a patient’s blood type and Rh factor. It can also determine whether or not the patient is anemic or has a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
5. Colostrum is a clear or yellowish liquid which may drip from a woman’s breasts during pregnancy.
6. Constipation and heartburn never occur during pregnancy.
7. Most pregnant teenagers gain more than 30 lbs. during pregnancy.
8. A woman may feel more tired than usual during pregnancy.
9. Eating foods with lots of calcium is very important for mothers-to-be.
1. TRUE. Between the wall of the uterus and the baby is a bag of water (the amniotic sac). The water is called the amniotic fluid. This fluid protects the baby from bumps and falls. The fluid in the bag is cleaned about eight times a day. No one knows for sure how this happens. A mucus plug blocks the opening in the cervix to protect the baby.
2. TRUE. The placenta forms during the first 3 months of pregnancy. In the early stages of pregnancy, it is mall and flat and looks like a pancake. It is attached to the wall of the uterus. The umbilical cord grows out of the placenta and connects to the baby at his or her navel (belly button).
3. FALSE. If a urine test reveals sugar or albumin in the urine, this may be a sign of a problem.
4. TRUE. The doctor needs to know if the mother’s blood type is O, A, B or AB and whether she has a positive (+) or negative (-) RH factor. The doctor will also test her blood for anemia. All this information will help the doctor to better plan for both mother and the baby during pregnancy. An STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) can be harmful to mother and her baby. It is important to treat or take the necessary precautions with such diseases immediately.
5. TRUE. This liquid is a sign that a woman’s body is getting ready to produce milk for the baby. It is normal.
6. FALSE. Constipation and heartburn are common during pregnancy. Eating and exercising properly can help alleviate these problems.
7. FALSE. A normal weight gain for most pregnant teens is approximately 24 to 30 pounds.
8. TRUE. As the uterus gets larger, a mother-to-be has more weight to carry around.
However, she may feel more tired during some months of pregnancy than others.
9. TRUE. Find out why calcium is so important to pregnant teens and the developing baby in the food and nutrition section.
II. How many of the following questions can you answer correctly? Select the correct term from the choices below.
1. When a woman is 2 weeks pregnant, the developing baby is called a/an________________________.
2. Twelve weeks into pregnancy, the developing baby is called a/an________________________.
3. A baby’s growth within the mother’s body is separated into time periods called________________________.
4. The developing baby (in utero) is able to do the following during the 7th month:
a. Hear the sound of loud voices and other loud noises b. Recognize mother by the sound of her voice c. Suck on his/her thumb d. Cry and hiccup e. All of the above
5. Bleeding from the vagina during pregnancy, especially if it happens in the first 12 weeks, is a possible indication of a. chalesium b. Pressure from the developing baby c. A big baby d. Miscarriage
6. Drugs can hurt a developing baby by a. Causing serious birth defects b. Retarding the developing baby’s growth c. Impairing the baby’s brain development d. A and B e. All of the above
NOTE: Bleeding from the vagina may not be anything to worry about, but it is a danger sign during pregnancy which should be immediately reported to the doctor.
What do we need to do to promote a healthy pregnancy during this trimester?
1. HAVE A REGULAR PRENATAL CARETo assure a healthy start for the mother as well as the baby, it is very important that you set up an appointment with your gynecologist or clinic as soon as you find out that you are pregnant. The doctor will perform tests to rule out any early complications. He/she will most likely prescribe vitamins and talk to you about all issues related to pregnancy.
It is also very important to have your doctor’s name, address, and telephone number with you at all times in case of complication or later on, when labor begins. You may also want to give his/her name to the father-to-be.
Note to fathers: While the mother carries the baby, fathers assume responsibility during pregnancy as well. Every doctor will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Most mothers-to-be welcome fathers to accompany them to prenatal appointments and to be part of the decision-making process regarding labor and birth. Fathers can also assist mothers by reminding them to take their vitamins and helping with transportation to appointments, etc.
Doctor’s/Clinic’s Name Street City/Town Telephone # Emergency
ACTIVITYIf you haven’t already done so, set up an appointment with your doctor or clinic.
My appointment is on:
Your doctor will schedule regular appointments. It is important that you post them and keep track of them.