Master Postpartum Nursing Assessment with Picmonic for Nursing RN

With Picmonic, facts become pictures. We've taken what the science shows - image mnemonics work - but we've boosted the effectiveness by building and associating memorable characters, interesting audio stories, and built-in quizzing.

Postpartum Nursing Assessment

Post-baby Assess-man
Picmonic
The postpartum nursing assessment is an important aspect of care in order to identify early signs of complications in the woman who has just given birth. Following pregnancy, the woman is at risk for infection, hemorrhage, and the development of a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The nurse can remember the key points of a postpartum assessment by learning the acronym BUBBLE-LE, which stands for breasts, uterus, bladder, bowels, episiotomy, lower extremities, and emotions.
9 KEY FACTS
BUBBLE - LE
Bubbly-champagne

BUBBLE-LE is an acronym to remember the key points for postpartum nursing assessment.

Breasts
Breasts

After 24 hours, clear yellow colostrum may develop and express from the breast. As the milk matures, usually within 72-96 hours, the breasts may become heavier and fuller and feel nodular and firm. The breasts should be assessed for signs of infection (mastitis) such as pain, redness, and warmth.

Uterus
Uterus

The uterus must remain firm and contracting in order to prevent postpartum hemorrhage. If the uterus feels boggy, it should be massaged. If the uterus becomes deviated to one side, it may indicate bladder distention.

Bladder
Bladder

Postpartum, the woman may experience difficulty voiding resulting in a distended bladder. If the bladder becomes distended, the woman is at a higher risk for hemorrhage because the distended bladder applies pressure on the uterus.

Bowels
Bowels-bowl

It may take 2 or 3 days for the woman to have a bowel movement due to pain, lack of food, dehydration, and soreness from lacerations or hemorrhoids. A stool softener may be given to the woman in order to aid in easier passage of the bowel movement.

Lochia
Loch-ness

The lochia should be assessed for color, amount, and odor. Too much lochia may indicate hemorrhage so it is important to know how the lochia is expected to look. In addition, foul smelling lochia may indicate infection. Lochia is usually bright red and contains small clots after birth. Normal shedding of blood and decidua is referred to as lochia rubra (red/red-brown) and lasts for the first few days following delivery. Between day 3-4 the lochia becomes more pink/brown color and contains serum, leukocytes, tissue debris and old blood and is called lochia serosa. Around 10 days post birth, the lochia becomes yellow/white and contains mainly leukocytes. This is referred to as Lochia Alba. Lochia will last 4-8 weeks postpartum.

Episiotomy (Laceration)
E-pistachi-O's

If the woman had an episiotomy, the nurse should assess for redness, edema, ecchymosis, discharge, and approximation.

Lower Extremities
Legs

The lower extremities must be assessed for deep vein thrombosis. This can be done easily by looking for redness, warmth and edema as well as observing for tachycardia and shortness of breath. There is controversy on the usefulness and accuracy of checking for Homan’s sign (dorsiflexion of the foot while knee is flexed - positive sign is pain in the calf muscle indicating a thrombus). The mother is at risk for developing a DVT due to increased clotting factors from birth and lying in bed.

Emotions
Emoticons

Hormone fluctuations, as well as, the birth experience can cause the mother to experience many new and strong emotions. The nurse should assess how the mother is feeling to determine whether the mom may be experiencing the postpartum blues. E can also include providing “education” to the mother dependent on her needs.

Unlock all 9 facts & definitions with Picmonic Free!

JOIN FREE

Take the Postpartum Nursing Assessment Quiz

Picmonic's rapid review multiple-choice quiz allows you to assess your knowledge.

START QUIZ NOW

It's worth every penny

Our Story Mnemonics Increase Mastery and Retention

Memorize facts with phonetic mnemonics

Unforgettable characters with concise but impactful videos (2-4 min each)

Ace Your Nursing (RN) Classes & Exams with Picmonic:

Over 870,000 students use Picmonic’s picture mnemonics to improve knowledge, retention, and exam performance.

Choose the #1 Nursing (RN) student study app.

Picmonic for Nursing (RN) covers information that is relevant to your entire Nursing (RN) education. Whether you’re studying for your classes or getting ready to conquer your NCLEX®-RN, Hesi, ATI, TEAS test, Kaplan exams, we’re here to help.

Works better than traditional Nursing (RN) flashcards.

Research shows that students who use Picmonic see a 331% improvement in memory retention and a 50% improvement in test scores.