The nurse is assessing a patient's blood pressure during labor. The patient asks why her blood pressure is measured so frequently. The nurse explains that:


•Correct: "Blood pressure changes may affect the fetus." Frequent blood pressure monitoring is needed because changes in blood pressure can affect fetal blood supply.

•Correct: "Following the blood pressure changes allows us to track your contractions." Monitoring of contraction intensity and duration is aided by monitoring of blood pressure to recognize when a patient is having a contraction, even when she may not feel it (if she has an epidural).

•Correct: "Blood pressure changes can be a side effect of the medications you have been given." Many of the medications given in labor affect blood pressure and this should be explained to the patient.

•Incorrect: "Decreased blood pressure indicates that the fetus is experiencing pain." The mother's blood pressure does not indicate whether the fetus is experiencing pain, and this answer would frighten a mother.

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