The Gastrointestinal System Of Pregnant Women

1701 WordsMar 22, 20157 Pages
Introduction Physiological changes within a pregnant woman occur throughout the pregnancy and the gastrointestinal system is affected by alterations of the pregnancy, these changes are considered normal. The aim of this essay is to focus on the gastrointestinal system of pregnant women, discussing physiological changes which occur under the influence of hormones, while focusing on nausea and vomiting (NV) as a minor disorder. Finally, it will examine the role the midwife has on providing effective education to the pregnant woman in her care employing a woman- centred approach. Discussion The gastrointestinal system of a pregnant woman undergoes a transition in physiology and anatomy. It is important to understand that these normal…show more content…
In early pregnancy nausea and vomiting (NV), begins around four weeks of gestation, and continues to around twelve weeks of gestation. Lee and Saha (2011) estimate the number of women experiencing these symptoms to between 70 and 80%. Though, some women continue to experience NV until the sixteenth week. Few women continue to experience these symptoms into the third trimester. According to Stables and Rankin (2010), the pathogenesis of NV symptoms are not clear, but it believed that hormones progesterone and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), contribute to these symptoms (Lee & Saha, 2011). Lee and Saha (2011) suggest that NV is enhanced under the stimulus of hCG. It peaks in the second trimester between twelve and fourteen weeks of pregnancy. During pregnancy women experience an increased appetite and cravings, or distaste of other food types (Niebyl, 2010). It is theorised that NV in pregnancy occurs due to evolutionary change, it’s advantageous to pregnant women by avoiding food which may contain microorganisms or unsafe toxins. The relationship between hCG and NVP are linked into protection of the vital development and formation of the embryo in the early to second trimester of pregnancy by avoiding potentially harmful foods (Lee & Saha, 2011). A woman centred-approach is an endeavour for pregnant women to take ownership in their care and the midwife a guide in their
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