In my last blog post, I shared my suggestions on how to best approach Pediatric nursing. In this article, I’m going to let you in on my secrets for Maternity, often known as “Mother/Baby” nursing. But before I give you those tips, I want to share a little bit with you about MY experiences with Specialty Nursing from back when I was in school.
The nursing program I attended was an accelerated program, so all my Specialty Nursing requirements were completed in a single semester. Yes, you read that correctly! Most traditional programs have at least 2-3 separate classes to cover Maternity, Pediatrics, and Psych, but I had one class that covered all three in a single semester! At 5 weeks per topic, it was a little bit crazy. Fortunately, I was still able to succeed by using the new study techniques that I had discovered (the same study techniques that I now teach through Your Nursing Tutor!).
Maternity (Mother/Baby) Nursing
Most of nursing involves knowing which symptoms are “normal” or expected, and which symptoms are an indication of a serious complication. Maternity nursing is no exception, so your primary focus should be on two things: 1) the characteristics of a normal, healthy pregnancy (including delivery), and 2) the rare, but serious complications to watch out for.
While you don’t want to obsess over memorizing every detail of fetal development, you do want to pay attention to general patterns of development across the trimesters for both mom and baby. For example, major organs develop during the first trimester…so if mom gets exposed to anything “bad” during that time, you’ve got the biggest chance of baby developing a congenital defect.
The rare, but serious complications are important to know, too. Be on the look-out for the major problems that sometimes occur, such as Placenta Previa or Placenta Abruptio. As you study each potential problem, focus on key identifying symptoms and what nursing actions to take. Make sure you always understand why you take those actions, so that you know what to do when faced with a similar situation on an exam (or in real life!).