Questions in a pregnancy health history
Other women may have more problems. First
births are often more difficult than later births. It
may be safer for a woman giving birth for the first
time to give birth near a medical center. Watch
carefully for risk signs and have transportation
available for emergencies.
birth. My birth
A woman who has given birth to 5 or more
babies is more likely to have some of the following problems:
• a long labor
• a torn womb (after a long, hard labor)
• a fallen womb (prolapsed uterus)
• a baby in a difficult position for birth
• heavy bleeding after birth
For these reasons, it may be safer for a woman who has had
5 or more births to give birth in or near a medical center.
Has she had any miscarriages or abortions?
A miscarriage (spontaneous abortion) is when a pregnancy ends before the
woman is 6 months pregnant, while the baby is still too small to live outside the
mother. This is common and often happens before the woman even knows she is
It is usually difficult to know why a miscarriage happens, but some causes of
miscarriage are preventable. Malaria, sexually transmitted infections, injury,
violence, and stress can all cause a pregnancy to end.
Sometimes miscarriages happen because a woman has
been near poisons or toxic chemicals. For example,
women who work on farms often breathe or handle
pesticides which can cause miscarriage. These women
have more miscarriages than other women.
Some miscarriages can be prevented by
treating women for illness and
infection and by helping them avoid
chemical poisons and violence. But
some women have one miscarriage after
another, and you may not know why. Get
medical advice to find the cause and to help
her carry this pregnancy all the way through.
Women who work with pesticides or
other chemicals are more likely to
A Book for Midwives (2010)