Q:

What kind of nursing care plan is required for a postpartum patient?

A:

Quick Answer

According to Newton-Wellesley Hospital, a nursing care plan for postpartum patients should include patient education, assessment of physiological stability, pain management, close monitoring, promotion of comfort and infection prevention. It should also focus on potential problems, such as depression, heavy bleeding and falls.

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Full Answer

According to Mayo Clinic, patients should expect vaginal soreness, contractions, urination problems and hemorrhoids during the postpartum period. Nurses evaluate postpartum patients’ emotional status, level of comfort, knowledge on baby care and cultural needs. Teaching points for postpartum patients include cord care, latching techniques, feeding, diaper changing, baby bathing and circumcision care.

Nurses also conduct a physical assessment of breasts, bladder and uterus, according to Healthline. For C-section patients, nurses assess surgical wounds and ensure the dressing is intact and dry. Mayo Clinic notes that the vitals nurses monitor in postpartum care include pulse rate, blood pressure, temperature and respiratory rate.

Nurses also evaluate postpartum patients for psychotic symptoms, cognition, sleep patterns and appetite to determine if they are depressed, according to Newton-Wellesley Hospital. Nurses should intervene with psychosocial therapy in moderate depression and drug therapy for severe depression. They should also encourage frequent hand washing, cleaning after urination and defecation and perineum cleaning to prevent infections, according to Mayo Clinic. Healthline adds that postpartum patients should take adequate fiber and fluids to prevent constipation.

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