Preterm labor, also called premature labor, is the onset of rhythmic uterine contractions that produce cervical change after fetal viability but before fetal maturity. It usually occurs between the 20th and 37th weeks of gestation.
Nursing Care Plans
Management involves suppression of preterm labor when tests show immature fetal pulmonary development, cervical dilation is less than 4 cm and the absence of factors that contraindicate continuation of pregnancy.
The nurse should monitor closely for signs of fetal or maternal distress, and provide comprehensive supportive care for patients with preterm labor.
Here are six (6) nursing care plans for preterm labor:
Anxiety: Vague uneasy feeling of discomfort or dread accompanied by an autonomic response.
May be related to
- Situational crisis
- Perceived or actual threats to self and fetus
Possibly evidenced by
- Increasing tension
- Sympathetic stimulation
- Patient will verbalize understanding of individual situation and possible outcomes
- Patient will report anxiety is reduced and/or manageable
- Patient will appear relaxed; with maternal vital signs within normal limits.
|Explain the procedures, nursing interventions, and treatment regimen. Keep communication open; discuss with the client the possible side effects and outcomes while maintaining an optimistic attitude.||Information and knowledge of the reasons of these activities can decrease fear of the unknown.|
|Orient client and partner to labor suite environment||Helps client and/or significant others feel at ease and more comfortable in their surroundings.|
|Answer questions honestly, especially information regarding contraction pattern and fetal status.||Provision of clear information can help the client or couple understand what is happening and may reduce anxiety.|
|Encourage use of relaxation techniques.||Enables the client to obtain maximum benefit from rest periods; prevents muscle fatigue and improves uterine blood flow.|
|Encourage verbalization of fears or concerns.||Can help reduce anxiety and stimulate identification of coping behaviors.|
|Monitor maternal and fetal vital signs.||Vital signs of client and fetus may be altered by anxiety. Stabilization may reflect reduction anxiety level.|
|Assess support systems available to the client or couple, whether the client remains hospitalized or is to return home to await delivery.||The assistance and caring of significant others, including caregivers, are extremely important during this time of uncertainty and stress. If the client is to return home, additional support will be required to meet self-care needs and homemaker activities as well as child care, as appropriate.|
|Administer sedative if other measures are not successful.||Provides soothing and tranquilizing effect.|
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Maternal and Newborn Care Plans
Nursing care plans related to the care of the pregnant mother and her infant. See care plans for maternity and obstetric nursing:
- Abruptio Placenta| 3 Care Plan
- Cesarean Birth | 10 Care Plans
- Cleft Palate and Cleft Lip | 6 Care Plans
- Dysfunctional Labor (Dystocia) | 4 Care Plans
- Elective Termination | 6 Care Plans
- Gestational Diabetes Mellitus | 4 Care Plans
- Hyperbilirubinemia | 4 Care Plans
- Labor Stages, Induced and Augmented Labor | 36 Care Plans
- Neonatal Sepsis | 5 Care Plans
- Perinatal Loss | 5 Care Plans
- Placenta Previa | 3 Care Plans
- Postpartum Hemorrhage | 8 Care Plans
- Postpartum Thrombophlebitis | 4 Care Plans
- Prenatal Hemorrhage | 7 Care Plans
- Prenatal Substance Dependence/Abuse | 6 Care Plans
- Precipitous Labor | 3 Care Plans
- Pregnancy Induced Hypertension | 6 Care Plans
- Premature Dilation of the Cervix | 3 Care Plans
- Prenatal Infection | 3 Care Plans
- Preterm Labor | 6 Care Plans
- Puerperal Infection | 4 Care Plans
Recommended books and resources:
- Nursing Care Plans: Diagnoses, Interventions, and Outcomes
- Nurse's Pocket Guide: Diagnoses, Prioritized Interventions and Rationales
- Nursing Diagnoses 2015-17: Definitions and Classification
- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V-TR)
- Manual of Psychiatric Nursing Care Planning
- Maternal Newborn Nursing Care Plans
- Delmar's Maternal-Infant Nursing Care Plans, 2nd Edition
- Maternal Newborn Nursing Care Plans