2145 Maternal Adaptations to Pregnancy and Labor

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What are some cardiovascular adaptations during pregnancy (5)?

Oxygenation needs an increase so..
1. AR increases 15-20 bpm
2. Blood volume increases ~45%
3. Cardiac Output increases ~40%
4. Healthy pregnancy, no increase in BP b/c of action of estrogen and progesterone (mom vasodilates to compensate for volume & output. if vasoconstricts ↑ BP)
5. heart is pushed upward & toward the left as uterus expands

How much does HR increase during pregnancy?

AR increases 15-20 bpm

How much does blood volume increase during pregnancy?


How much does cardiac output increase during pregnancy?


What are some cardiovascular adpations DURING LABOR? (3)

1. Cardiac output increases
- 1st stage cardiac output increases 10-15%
- 2nd stage (pushing) CO increases 30-50%
- 4th stage CO may peak by 80% over pre-pregnancy (a lot of thick extra blood)
2. During contractions BP inceases
- 1st stage systolic 10mmHg
- 2nd stage systolic 30mmHg and Diastolic 25 mmHg
3. Increase in heart rate is possible - depends on pain tolerance

Cardiac output increases how much during 1st stage?


Cardiac output increases how much during 2nd stage?


Cardiac output increases how much during 4th stage?

80% over pre-pregnancy b/c after delivery a lot of thick extra blood

Blood pressure (systolic) increases how much during 1st stage?


Blood pressure (systolic & diastolic) increases how much during 2nd stage?

systolic = 30mm
diastolic = 25mm

What are some Hematological Adaptations during Pregnancy (4)?

Hg- 12-14
Hct- 12-14x3
1. In pregnancy, plasma and cellular elements increase, plasma increases faster- so 'dilutional' anemia may occur (volume is ↑ but not RBCs ex. give fluids)
2. WBC increase 5000-12000
3. Clotting factors increase (50%) - hypercoagulable state- increase risk of DVT, DIC (Disseminated intravascular coagulation)
4. Erythrocytes ↑ by 20-30% - usually requires iron supplement

How much does WBC increase during pregnancy & what may WBC increase to during labor?

increase 5000-15000 during pregnancy
Increase to 25,000 during labor

How much do clotting factors increase during pregnancy?


How much do erythrocytes increase during pregnancy?


What are some hematological adaptions during labor and birth (4)?

1. WBC may increase +25000 then in early pp may increase to 30000
2. With birth blood loss less than or equal to: vaginal delivery: 500mL, C/S birth: 1000mL
3. Further increase of clotting factors-return to pre-pregnant state 3-4 wks pp
4. Check CBC 1st day post op C/S pt, also Hgb, WBC

What are some respiratory adaptions during pregnancy (3) & during labor (2)?

1. increasing O2 consumption b/c of larger uterus & fetus
2. thoracis circumference increases by 2-3 inches, diaphragm elevates
3. increased RR 15% 2-3 breaths/min
1. increase in RR and possibly AR, depends on pain level & tolerance
2. hyperventilation = tingling in extremities, dizziness. help them slow breathing & cup hands around mouth

What are 6 renal adaptations during pregnancy?

1. Increased glomerular filtration rate of 40-50% non pregnant state due to increased blood volume
2. Urine output is 25% higher
3. Bladder tone is decreased = infections
4. ability of renal tubules to reabsorb glucose ↓ so may see glucose in urine which is primed for bacteria growth
5. ureters compressed by larger uterus
6. Physiologic hydronephrosis, ureters elongate and become tortuous, upper 1/3 of ureter may dilate →UTI

What are some renal adaptations during labor (5)?

1. Proteinuria of +1 WNL
2. Prolonged straining during 2nd stage may cause injury to bladder
3. Spontaneous voiding may be difficult- even if no edpidural
4. after birth swelling may inhibit urination
5. usually measure 1st 2 urine outputs after birth

What are some integument adaptations during pregnancy (6)?

1. Hyperpigmentation- melasma, linea alba-linea nigra, other areas too
2. Hair- increased growth
3. Striae gravidarum = stretch marks
4. nail growth increases
5. Blood vessels may have increased permeability so edema, palmar erythema, spider nevi
6. Pruritus, acne

What are stretch marks (5)?

1. May start as purple or blueish areas that turn white or silver white after birth
2. Not painful
3. Upsetting to patient
4. CoCoa butter may help
5. usually don't go away

What are some GI adapations during pregnancy (6)?

1. Gums become swollen, soft and have a tendency to bleed, go to dentist b/c ↑ risk of periodontal disease
2. GI tract- progesterone causes smooth muscle relaxation/ decreased peristalsis
3. Constipation
4. Hemorrhoids
5. Heartburn/reflux
6. increase risk for gall stones due to delayed emptying

Gi adaptations during labor (3)?

1. GI motility and absorption decreased b/c blood flow is going to uterus. if you eat -->vomit
2. Stomach emptying time slowed- N/V
3. Diarrhea possible w/ onset of labor (nothing can be in rectum)

What are five endocrine adaptations during pregnancy?

1. Pituitary gland- increased prolactin
2. Thyroid- increased thyroxine & BMR 25% term
3. Pancreas- increased insulin entire pregnancy to compensate for placental hormone insulin antagonism (HPL-human placental lactogen)
4. Ovaries/Placenta- estrogen, progesterone, relaxin
5. Parathyroid = increased parathyroid hormone to help meet fetal demand for Ca & P

What are endocrine adaptations during labor (2)?

1. Decreasing progesterone
2. Increasing estrogen, prostoglandins, oxytocin


near midpregnancy a sudden tap on the cervix during VE may cause fetus to rise and rebound to original position

what four ways can you help minimize varicose veins

1. don't cross legs
2. wear TED hose
3. elevate legs at end of day
4. try not to stand too much

linea nigra

dark line of pigmentation from symphysis to umbilicus


brownish patches, forehead, cheeks & bridge of nose
"mask of pregnancy"

Chadwick's sign

Cervix - bluish color, extends to vagina & labia

Goodell's sign

Cervix - softening of the cervix

Hegar's sign

1. 6th week pregnancy
2. lower uterine segment softens and can be compressed

Normal blood loss with vagina birth


Normal blood loss with C/S


Breast changes during pregnancy (5)

1. enlarge due to progesterone & estrogen
2. more vascular, veins often visible
3. stretch marks
4. nipples enlarges & darkens
5. Montgomery glands secrete substances to lubricate nipple

4 major changes in blood flow during pregnancy

1. additional blood flow to perfuse the placenta (↑ cardiac output)
2. more blood to maternal kidneys to filter mom & baby blood
3. woman's skin needs increased circulation to dissipate heat
4. expanding uterus on vena cava lowers perfusion back to the heart

how much does RR increase during pregnancy?

15%, 2-3 breaths/min

How much does the GFR Increase during pregnancy


How much increased urine output during pregnancy


Musculoskeletal changes during pregnancy

1. pelvic ligaments & joints soften allowing for passage of fetus. causes a waddles effect
2. mother may lean backward to maintain balance
3. diastasis recti = separation of rectus abdominis muscles

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