Successful completion of this assignment should allow you to:
? Identify information relevant to the topic
? Structure a written article to effectively convey the information in an organised and logical fashion
? Integrate information obtained from a variety of sources
? Discuss the normal development of pregnancy and the expected changes to maternal body systems
? Broaden your understanding of the relationships between body systems.
A 1900 words essay describing the normal development of pregnancy, the impact pregnancy has on key body systems, and how the body compensates for the changes that occur.
It is expected you will obtain your information from a range of sources including text books and a minimum of 8 journal articles. Accessing journal articles will ensure you read the primary source of information, rather than relying on the interpretation provided in a text book.
The essay should be structured to include information under the following Major
The focus is the maternal impact of pregnancy (during gestation) – do NOT discuss changes occurring during labour or postpartum.
Introduction: May include:
– A brief overview of the biological basis/rationale for reproduction
Physiology of Normal Pregnancy: May include relevant information on:
– 3-stages of prenatal development
– Placental development and function
– Uterine changes
Structural and Functional Changes to Maternal Systems: May include details on:
– Musculoskeletal system
– Gastrointestinal system (specifically oesophagus and stomach)
Maternal Physiological Adaptations of the Cardiovascular System: May include relevant information on:
– Haemodynamic changes involving;
• Blood (ie volume and composition)
• Cardiac output
• Blood pressure
– Physical changes
– Changes to maternal coagulation and haemostasis
Maternal Physiological Adaptations of the Respiratory System: May include relevant information on:
– Changes in respiratory function related to;
– Lung volume/function related changes
– Acid/base changes
Maternal Physiological Adaptations of the Renal System: May include relevant
– Structural changes
– Changes in renal haemodynamics
– Fluid and electrolyte homeostasis
Summary: May include:
– An overview describing how the body as a whole compensates to accommodate the normal changes occurring during pregnancy, linking the responses of the different body systems discussed
. There is a lot of information you can provide for each area and you only have
2000 words. You will need to decide what’s important and provide this information in a logical, concise manner.
• Consider developing sub-headings within each of these major sections to help organise your information and to limit repetition. Provide a table of contents, which summarises the structure of your essay.At least 8 subheadings
• Consider using 2 diagramsto help explain information. Diagrams do not add to your word count, but you should refer to them actively in the text – don’t just put them into your document (ie Figure one shows….)
• Make sure you reference your sources accurately and consistently. Use the Author/date (Harvard) system.
It is expected that some of the information you use for this assignment will come from journal articles.
A good way to find journal articles initially is to look at the reference list in specialist text books. One text book you might consider for this essay is:
Blackburn, Susan Tucker. Maternal, Fetal and Neonatal Physiology, 2007 (3rd Ed),
You can also find the journal articles you need by searching the United States National Library of Medicine database using the PubMed search engine.
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