c. Blood Pressure.
Normally, the patient's blood pressure will not rise.
(a) The patient's blood pressure should be checked carefully and often
since a significant increase is one of the indicators of toxemia of pregnancy.
(b) When monitoring the blood pressure, be sure it is done under the
same circumstances (that is, patient sitting and left arm).
d. Venous Return.
(1) The lower extremities are often hampered in the last months of
pregnancy due to the expanding uterus restricting physical movement and interfering
with the return of blood flow. This results in swelling of the feet and legs.
(a) Advise the patient to rest frequently. This will improve venous
return and decrease edema.
(b) Have the patient to elevate her feet and legs while sitting.
(c) Remind the patient not to lie in a supine position since this inhibits
return blood flood flow as the heavy uterus presses on the vessels. This leads to the
vena cava syndrome (see figure 5-2) or supine hypotension. The patient may complain
of feeling dizzy, nauseated, or weak.
Figure 5-2. Vena cava syndrome.