Chapter 7: Learning a pregnant woman’s health history
Questions in a pregnancy health history
Does she have signs of pregnancy?
Some signs of pregnancy are sure signs — they mean the woman is definitely
pregnant. Some signs are probable signs, meaning the woman is probably
pregnant, but the sign could be caused by something else.
Probable signs of pregnancy
The woman’s monthly bleeding stops. This is often the first sign of pregnancy.
Other possible causes of this sign are poor nutrition, emotional troubles, or
menopause (change of life).
The woman has nausea or wants to vomit. Many pregnant
women have nausea in the morning (which is why this feeling
is often called “morning sickness”), but some women may feel
this way all day. Nausea is common during the first 3 months
of pregnancy. Other possible causes of this sign are illness or
The woman feels tired and sleepy
during the day. This is common in the
first 3 or 4 months of pregnancy. Other
possible causes of this sign are anemia
(see page 116), poor nutrition,
emotional troubles, or too much work.
The woman needs to urinate often. This is most common
during the first 3 months and the last 1 or 2 months of
pregnancy. Other possible causes of this sign are stress,
bladder infection (see page 128), or diabetes
(blood sugar disease — see page 115).
The woman’s belly grows. After 3 or 4 months,
the pregnancy is usually big enough to be seen from
the outside. Other possible causes of this sign are that the
woman has a cancer or another growth in her belly
or that she is just getting fatter.
A Book for Midwives (2010)