(2) Pads may be worn inside the bra cups to absorb possible colostrum
leakage from the nipples. The pads should be changed if they become wet from
leakage. Prolonged moisture against the nipples may lead to tenderness and cracking
once the newborn infant begins nursing.
(3) The breasts should be washed daily (without soap) to remove dried
colostrum and to prevent irritation to the nipples. Lanolin may be applied to the nipples
to prevent evaporation of perspiration, thereby softening the skin. Wet tea bags may be
placed on the nipples, as the tea will release tannic acid, which will toughen the skin.
The nipples should be air dried or blow dried after washing to help toughen them,
especially if the patient plans to breastfeed.
d. Dental Care. The patient must maintain normal, daily dental care. There is
no documentation that supports increased dental cavities during pregnancy.
(1) Minor dental work, such as fillings and simple extractions, may be done
during pregnancy; however, patients are advised to avoid anesthetics.
(2) Major dental work, to include all dental surgery, should be postponed
until after the pregnancy because of the need to use anesthetics. Anesthetics may
affect the developing fetus and the need to use analgesics may also affect the fetus.
e. Bowel Elimination.
(1) Patients who normally had no problems with bowel elimination habits will
usually experience little or no change in the daily routine.
(2) Patients who have a tendency toward constipation become noticeably
more irregular during pregnancy because of:
(a) Decreased physical exertion.
(b) Relaxation of bowel as a response to hormone.
Pressure on the bowel from the gravid uterus.
Constipating effect of iron supplements.
(3) To prevent or to relieve constipation, you should encourage the patient
to eat a diet high in fiber, maintain an adequate fluid intake, and to exercise--especially
f. Vaginal Douching. Explain to the patient that normal vaginal secretions are
usually intensified during pregnancy due to increased circulation and hormone.