Activity 15.1: Reflective practice

Visit to hear some women’s experiences of early pregnancy:

What physical symptoms did the women experience?

The women spoke about fatigue, nausea and vomiting, bloating, vaginal spotting/bleeding and abdominal pain. Some of these are normal in pregnancy but others may indicate that something is wrong. Women should always be advised to seek medical advice if they are concerned about any symptom.

What emotions did the women discuss?

Some women discussed their anxieties either with regard to losing the baby, or about keeping the baby if they were uncertain about how they felt about becoming a mother. Antenatal anxiety is something that many women experience during pregnancy. Support is available and women should be referred to an appropriate practitioner. The Mind website has some useful information:

Reflect on the stories you have heard and consider how might you respond if a woman shared her experiences with you and asked for your advice?

In your role as a nurse it is highly appropriate that you listen to a woman’s concerns about her pregnancy. It is important to acknowledge the nature of the concern and how significant it may be to the woman, even if it seems trivial. It is important to recognise your scope of practice and when it would be appropriate to refer a woman to a midwife or doctor.