LivingHeparin in pregnancy: tips to reduce discomfort when pricking...

Heparin in pregnancy: tips to reduce discomfort when pricking the injection

Between my first and second pregnancy I had several pregnancy losses. They were very hard times and plagued with uncertainty, where there was no lack of medical tests to determine what was happening. Finally, I was diagnosed with a thrombophilia disorder and was prescribed low molecular weight heparin to start injecting me the moment I became pregnant again.

As a result of this article in which I told you how my experience was, there were many of you who wrote me privately asking me your doubts about when and how to inject yourself with heparin, since you had just started this difficult path towards motherhood.

For this reason, today I would like to share with you some tips and guidelines so that the moment of injecting the heparin is more bearable .

Always at the same time

Unless your doctor has told you otherwise, there is no better time of day than another to inject heparin, although it is recommended that you always do it at the same time.

If one day you forget your injection you should not double the dose , but inject it when it is time for you again. However, if in doubt, you can ask your midwife or pharmacist.

Prepare a small first aid kit with everything you need

My recommendation is that you prepare a small first-aid kit with what you will need every time you prick yourself and always have it on hand. In this way, if one day the puncture catches you away from home, you will have everything you need with you.

The kit should contain the heparin injection that you have to administer that day (I also recommend keeping an extra dose to cover unforeseen events), a pack of gauze pads, 70º alcohol to clean the area and a hand disinfectant in case you cannot wash them with water and soap.

Disinfection of hands and the area to be pricked

Before handling the injection, we must properly wash our hands with soap and water (or failing that, disinfect them with hydroalcoholic gel). Next, we will clean the area that we are going to puncture with a cotton or gauze impregnated with alcohol, and we will wait a few seconds for it to dry.

How to choose the area of the puncture

Heparin is administered subcutaneously, and the abdomen is usually the site of choice.

We should never puncture the heparin near the navel. We will make sure to leave at least four fingers of distance on both sides.

Since the puncture usually causes bruising , it is very important to alternate the side of the injection; that is to say, if today you prick yourself in the right, tomorrow you will have to do it in the left. Likewise, you should prick away from any scars, moles, bruises, or wounds .

Personally, the prick bothered me less when it was administered to the side of my abdominal girdle. However, if you’re having trouble finding an area to lance or your abdomen is too bruised, discuss the possibility of lancing the thigh with your doctor.

Take a ‘pinch’ of meat

Once you have selected the area in which you will puncture, take a good pinch or skin fold between your index fingers and thumb, and do not let go until you have withdrawn the needle after injecting its content.

You do not need to apply force, but you do need to hold the skin firmly , as this will ensure that the injection penetrates the subcutaneous fatty tissue, reducing discomfort.

How should you inject the needle?

With the skinfold firmly grasped with one hand, it is time to inject the heparin with the other. Since it is an injection that is already prepared , its administration is simple.

Do it following these recommendations:

  • Remove the cap that protects the needle. Do not touch the needle or push out any air bubbles.
  • Stick the needle at a 90º angle , that is, completely vertical to the skin.
  • Very slowly injects the content . If you inject it quickly it will hurt and sting more.
  • Once all the contents have been injected, keep the needle in for a few seconds and then slowly pull it out .
  • Remember not to release the skin pinch until you have finished the process.

Don’t rub the puncture area!

Once the liquid is injected, it is normal to feel burning, itching and a lot of stinging . But even if you feel an uncontrollable desire, do not rub the area of the puncture, as this favors the appearance of bruises.

It helped me to apply gentle pressure, and blow. Blow very hard. The discomfort and itching only last a couple of minutes.

bruises are normal

But even if you follow all the recommendations to the letter, it is more than likely that bruises will appear in the area of the puncture . These occur when small blood vessels and capillaries break and bleed under the skin.

In this medical article they explain that the application of local cold before and after the injection could reduce the possibility of hematoma formation. If you do, remember that ice should never be applied directly to the skin, as it can cause burns.

However, if you have large bruises in the puncture area, you should notify your doctor.

Dispose of needles safely

As with any other medicine, heparin injections cannot be thrown away. You must throw them in a specific container for needles, and when it is full take it to your health center or to the SIGRE point of the pharmacy, where they will be in charge of disposing of them safely.

Likewise, once you have pricked yourself, it is recommended that you cover the needle again with its corresponding cap , in order to avoid accidental punctures.

I hope that these guidelines will help you plan when to inject yourself with heparin, and that the advice based on my experience will help you to minimize the discomfort of the injection . Do not hesitate to consult with your doctor or midwife any questions you have in this regard.

Photos | DepositPhotos, Pixabay

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