To give good care to a pregnant woman, you should find out about her general
health, her past health, and her past pregnancies and births. You also need to know
what this pregnancy has been like so far. This is called a health history.
Learning a woman’s health history will help you give advice to make this
pregnancy and birth as safe as possible.
The best way to learn about a woman’s history is to ask her. At first, she may not
be comfortable talking with you. If she feels shy about her body or about sex, it may
be difficult for her to tell you things that you need to know about her health. Try to
help her feel comfortable by listening carefully, answering her questions, keeping
what she tells you private, and treating her with respect.
This chapter suggests questions to ask each woman so you can learn more
about her. You probably have some questions of your own that you want to ask
but that we do not include here. For example, if there is hepatitis B in your
community, you may want to ask the woman if she has hepatitis B or tell her how
to prevent it. Think about the information
you need to know in order to give her
good care. What questions do you
usually ask a pregnant woman?
If you can, write down what you
learn about each pregnant woman.
This information may be needed
later in the pregnancy, or during
labor or birth.
After learning a woman’s health
history, and every time you meet
with a pregnant woman, you
should do a regular pregnancy
checkup. The next chapter of this
book, Chapter 8, explains how to
do the regular pregnancy checkup.