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development tasks of pregnancy

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  1. 1. A WRITTEN REPORT ON THE DEVELOPMENTAL TASKS OF PREGNANCY Pregnancy is often viewed as a developmental stage having its own developmental tasks. Both the expectant mother and father deal with significant changes and major psychosocial adjustment. The pregnant woman prepares for her new role through accomplishment the developmental tasks during this time to successfully incorporate the maternal identity in her personality. Variations in the description of these tasks exist among authors or books. Four Major Developmental Tasks of Pregnancy According to Rubin (1984) 1. Safe Passage Seeking safe passage for herself and her child through pregnancy, labor, and delivery. The goal is to achieve a healthy pregnancy and an intact newborn with no detrimental effects to the mother. First trimester: The pregnant woman concentrates on her own well being and her pregnancy. She is concerned with what she eats and drinks. Second trimester: Fears about the baby and delivery appear. The pregnant woman is very aware of her responsibilities to protect the fetus and does this by adhering to different aspects of her prenatal care. Third trimester: The pregnant woman’s thoughts shift to mother and baby as a couple. She becomes increasingly uncomfortable and looks forward to delivery for relief. She will seek out role models and expert advice on the best way to proceed through the pregnancy and delivery and on parenting. 2. Acceptance by Others Ensuring the acceptance by significant persons in her family and secondary groups of the child she bears. Rubin believes that this task is one of the most critical tasks for the pregnant woman. Relationships have to be adjusted and redefined in the family in
  2. 2. order to create a place for the new baby. The mother also has to create a new identity for herself and build this identity into her life. Throughout the pregnancy, her family and especially her partner become the motivational force behind her desire to become successful as a mother. To succeed, the mother becomes aware of the sacrifices that will be made. If she has other children, she will have to assist them in adapting to the growing family. Nursing Consideration: Listen to woman’s concerns and offer assistance when applicable, in a non-judgmental manner. 3. Binding in to the Child Binding-in to her unknown baby refers to establishment of a bond between mother and baby. First trimester: The woman focuses on herself and maintaining the pregnancy. Second trimester: Once fetal movement is felt, the fetus becomes real and she begins to feel there’s a significance in working to meet the challenges of becoming a mother. The fetus becomes an independent person and all of the mother’s being is directed toward the newborn’s safe arrival. 4. Giving of Oneself Learning to give of herself. Pregnancy creates physical changes as well as lifestyle changes. This prepares the mother for learning to put baby's needs above her own. The communication of appreciative approval from the partner, family and friends help the woman to endure the changes and discomforts of the pregnant body. Nursing Consideration: Answer questions and provide guidance to reinforce the importance of the sacrifices that must be made to achieve a successful pregnancy and healthy family.
  3. 3. Psychological Adaptation to Pregnancy: Developmental Tasks (White, 2004) These tasks are met in order; however, rate at which they are met may vary. 1st trimester: Pregnancy Validation- Accepting the pregnancy Even when the pregnancy is planned, there are normal feelings of ambivalence and disbelief about the pregnancy. Many women become introspective or have mood swings cause by hormone fluctuations. 2nd trimester: Fetal Embodiment- Accepting the baby This occurs as the mother incorporates the growing fetus into her body image. The physical changes she is experiencing, especially the growing uterus, help her meet this task. Self-involvement, depression, or regressive behavior may be signs of difficulty in meeting this task. Fetal Distinction- Accepting the baby as a separate person When fetal movement is felt, it becomes easier for the mother to think of the fetus as a separate being. She may daydream about what the baby will be like and think about the kind of mother shewants to be. 3rd trimester: Role Transition –Preparing for parenthood; Nesting This includes parents exploring together the meaning of fathering and mothering, learning parenting skills, the amazing skills of newborn for interactions, and the physical maturing and behavioral changes of the first 12 months of life. At the end of pregnancy, many mothers experience a surge of energy and to see to it that the entire household is organized for the coming infant. This is called nesting. References: White, Lois. Foundations of Nursing, 2nd ed., 2005 Littleton, L.,& Engebretson, J., Maternal, Neonatal, and Women's Health Nursing, 2002
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