(1) The gastrointestinal tract motility is slowed due to increased
progesterone resulting in increased reabsorption of water and drying of stool; and
compression of the intestines by the enlarging uterus.
(2) Predisposition to constipation due to oral iron supplement (side effect of
iron therapy is constipation). Some patients respond with diarrhea.
Nursing intervention consists of advising the patient to:
(a) Drink at least six glasses of water per day.
(b) Increase roughage in the diet (for example, bran, coarse ground
cereals, and fresh fruits and vegetables with skins).
Do moderate exercise every day, especially walking.
(d) Maintain a regular schedule for bowel movements.
(e) Utilize deep breathing and relaxation techniques.
DISCOMFORTS RELATED TO THE MUSCULOSKELETAL SYSTEM
(1) Backache is caused by relaxation of the sacroiliac joint which is due to
increased hormones (steroid sex hormone and relaxing) resulting in slight joint and
muscle relaxation and increased mobility; and exaggerated lumbar and cervico thoracic
curves caused by changes in the center of gravity from the enlarging abdomen and
Prevention of strain, which can cause backache, should begin early in
Nursing interventions consist of advising the patient:
(a) That maternity girdles are no longer recommended.
(b) To practice good posture and good body mechanics (use the pelvic
tilt and bend at the knees).
To wear appropriate, well-fitting shoes.
(d) To sleep on a firm mattress or backboard.