Before starting an IV infusion of oxytocin for the induction of labor, the nurse obtains an obstetric history (parity, gravidity, previous obstetric problems, type of labor, stillbirths, abortions, live birth infant abnormalities)
and a general health history. Immediately before starting the IV infusion of oxytocin, the nurse assesses the fetal heart rate (FHR) and the patient's blood pressure, pulse, and respiratory rate.
In addition, the nurse assesses and records the activity of the uterus (strength, duration, and frequency of contractions, if any). Monitoring of the uterine contractions for strength and length of the contractions can be done with the use of an external monitor or by an internal uterine catheter with an electronic monitor. A fetal monitor is placed to assess the FHR.
Ergonovine and methylergonovine may be given orally during the postpartum period to reduce the possibility of postpartum hemorrhage and to prevent relaxation of the uterus. When the patient is to receive either of these drugs after delivery, it is important to take the blood pressure, pulse, and respiratory rate before administration.
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